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The Life & Adventures of Laura The triumphs and tribulations of UK living & teaching.

An 87 day engagement

AUSTRALIA | Tuesday, 12 April 2016 | Views [634]

87 days isn’t a very long time to be engaged. It also isn’t a very long time to plan a wedding in a country that is across the other side of the world to you and in a city that is unfamiliar to one of you. It could have and probably should have gone all wrong, but by gosh it didn’t. It was spectacular. In fact too spectacular for just one post, so this one is dedicated to the lead up….

We set off for Heathrow airport on Thursday lunchtime. Heathrow is much more of an adventure for us to get to than Gatwick, but the flight times were better and it meant getting some sleep upon arrival in Perth. Unfortunately, we hit a traffic jam on the bus travelling from Gatwick to Heathrow, and it took 2 hours instead of 1 hour to get there. I had needed the toilet when we’d arrived at Gatwick, but Pete has insisted we get straight on the bus. I wasn’t keen on using the toilet in the coach, but at the hour thirty mark it was becoming a necessity. Unfortunately, I had held on for just the right amount of time for us to be zooming around circular highway interchange mid hand wash recreating what felt like the Knight Bus scene from the Harry Potter movies.

Upon check in we realised that Pete somehow still had his Gold Frequent flyer status, so we were upgraded to the first row (sadly not business class) and had access to the lounge. After some duck terrine and a few glasses of verve it was time to board. After staying awake for dinner service, I managed half a movie before I drifted off to sleep. I’ve got much better at this sleeping on a plane business, but Pete will probably argue with you that it is because he becomes my human pillow. All part of the job I say. After another champers and teeth clean at Dubai airport, we were on our second flight and most certainly home bound.

It was raining when we arrived, but it was 22 degrees at 2am in the morning, so despite the dark and the rain I was more than a little thrilled to be in a t-shirt and enjoying weather in the 20s. We quickly nodded off at our hotel and woke up bright and early to start a day of preparations. 

First cab off the rank was the cake. I was expecting a cake for 60, but was greeted be an enormous iced confection fit for at least 90. It looked absolutely amazing, and we subsequently found out, also tasted amazing. Two delicious tiers of cream cheese frosted red velvet …yum! Next was a much awaited catch up with my friend Kathryn, who was also my bridesmaid. As Pete would put it, we were off to ‘oompa loompa land’ to get our tan on. The UK has left me very white (yes, whiter than usual if that is even possible), so I decided that a tan was in order. Luckily I left glowing, rather than oompa loompa like! 

Post tan Pete came to collect us with my mum, dad and sister in tow. They had flown over from Melbourne. It was so nice to see them since I hadn’t seen my parents since November and I hadn’t seen my sister since we left Aus in December 2014. We quickly got to chatting and talking rubbish in the way we know and love! We booked a large apartment so we could all stay together and it was great having a few days before the wedding to hang out and catch up.

Saturday afternoon meant wedding rehearsal. The weather had been looking a little shady and we were worried about getting stuck in the rain. Fortunately it held off and we were put through our paces by our celebrant Grant who has us practising our walks, how I would get handed over and how we would hold hands. I found it had to take Pete seriously when I was holding his hands, because post tan I was so much browner than him and he was almost glowing white. It was a definite role reversal! The rehearsal itself was quite intense and nerve wracking – probably a good thing to get out of our systems, because come wedding I was nothing but serene!

Sunday was venue set up day and also a chance to catch up with the best man Grant and Pete’s good friend Mark who had travelled from Queensland to be there. A lunch of Rooster Rolls (another food on my to eat in Aus list!) helped us power through the set up and after 4 hours the venue was looking spectacular. It was great to see my vision come into place. All that was missing was the flowers, cake and the guests.

On the Sunday afternoon Pete headed off for a subdued bucks party (beer and pizza) at his brother in law’s house and I headed of, to what I thought was going to be a high tea at a fancy patisserie. Pete had even bought me a couple of bottles of nice champagne to celebrate. Unfortunately on our arrival, despite my booking and 50% deposit, they had a sign up announcing they were closed for Easter. Shocked and annoyed, we rallied and found a wine bar where we could have a few drinks and tapas before heading to a French restaurant where we had a dinner of an entrée and a dessert. It turned out to be an awesome evening, and the failed booking was forgotten about. (In the end they did get hold of us to explain what went wrong and sent us lots of yummy nougat for our Melbourne party and a tasting pack for Pete & I, so they are partially forgiven).

As tradition beholds, we decided to spend the night before the wedding apart and I only had my dad’s word that Pete had upheld my wishes not to get too drunk or sunburnt at his buck’s party! Luckily neither were the case, so I could rest safe that Pete would be there looking his usual handsome self the next day. Luckily for me by this point I had semi adjusted to Perth’s time zone, so I slept though the night. Unfortunately the Ebola like cold that had swept my school had firmly set its grips on me and I was going to need the make up lady to work wonders on me in the morning….


Prior to the wedding we: spent a long time on transport to get to Heathrow airport, rejoiced at Pete’s still standing Gold frequent flyer status, drank quite a bit of champagne, enjoyed a lot of leg room on the plane, flew on another A380, admitted to the blog reading public we are plane nerds, flew back home, enjoyed the Aussie weather, saw our families, felt very happy, ate Rooster Rolls and got ready for the best day of our lives.

Tags: australia, bucks, dubai, emirates, family, friends, heathrow, hens, perth, wedding



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