It was nothing short of a miracle. Natalie rallied and the big day arrived! She had a lovely day of beauty preparations with her "girls". Lucy Topps bounced in with bright orange flowers in her hair and a flowing aqua dress and quickly set to expertly applying makeup whilst Alecia and her talented team adeptly curled, teased and twisted hair into classical, pretty up do's.
Natalie and Emily adore horses so I organised for Natalie and her girls to be picked up from their room by an old-fashioned horse and carriage. When Natalie opened the door and saw the horse she burst into tears, along with the entire crew.
The sandstone chapel at Chateau Ã‰lan was full - no spare seats. When Matt saw his bride appear at the door his eyes welled up (we're saving this image for the mag!), as did everyone else's. The highlight of the ceremony was when the singer, Mick Fetch performed a song written by 8 year old Emily, about her mum's battle with cancer and how she felt about it. It was hauntingly beautiful.
I was hugely relieved when Natalie and Matt were officially pronounced as husband and wife - she made it. Yay! And boy did they have a fervent kiss! (you'll have to wait for the mag to see this one too!) Every hour from then on that Natalie lasted would be a bonus...we had given them their wish to get married.
After a short photo session, Natalie went for a rest and we were concerned how much of the reception she would be able to enjoy but to everyone's delight, she surprised us all and lasted till after midnight.
Guests gasped audibly as they entered the reception room - it was dark by then and the fairylights did their magic, along with large, lavish silver candelabras, entwined with crystals, accented by white satin chair covers and silver sashes. Arrangements of mixed mini fishbowls - South American roses and lisianthus - placed on mirrored centrepieces and votive candles completed the scene. And lots of pink rose petals...lots and lots!
I had the honour of being M.C. for the evening and was determined that this reception would be a happy, fun celebration for everyone. After entree was served one of the waiters unexpectedly started to sing, a little while later another waiter sang and then another - guests were literally awestruck as "The Three Waiters" revealed themselves as undercover opera singers and wowed the audience with their spine-tingling 3 tenors show.
Guests had fun in the photobooth, trying on funny props and costumes and pasting a photo in the guest book then writing best wishes to Natalie and Matt. A brilliant keepsake!
The speeches were beautiful of course and the highlight was Emily's amazing speech - what a clever 8 year old. Heart wrenching and heart-warming all at the same time.
Natalie and Matt keep thanking me profusely but in all honesty it is us that should be thanking them. This whole experience of bringing their dream wedding to reality has been one of the most rewarding experiences of my entire life and I know the others that have been involved feel the same. Natalie, Matt and their friends and families are some of the most beautiful people you will ever meet and it has been such a pleasure and honour to share this special time with them.
Natalie and Matt's love story is so powerful it is not just worthy of prime time television; it deserves an Oscar winning motion picture. On a final note, it is worth remembering that many people are not lucky enough to experience a love such as this in their lifetime. Natalie and Matt, you are truly blessed to have one another and you are both such a blessing to all of us. God bless you.
P.S For all the beautiful moments and images check out the autumn edition of Modern Wedding available 15th March.
Everybody that made Natalie's wish come true:
Wedding Planner and M.C.: Victoria Black, Modern Wedding magazine staging.modernwedding.com.au
Venue: Chateau Ã‰lan at the Vintage, Hunter Valley www.chateauelan.com.au
Wine: Tyrrells, Hunter Valley www.tyrrells.com.au
Meat: Andrews Meat www.andrewsmeat.com.au
Wedding rings: John W. Thompson Master Engraver www.johnwthompson.net
Bridal gown and Flowergirl dress: Wendy Makin Bridal Designs www.wendymakin.com
Bridesmaids' gowns and accessories: Diane Lewis Couture www.facebook.com/Diane.Lewis.Couture
Bridal accessories: Marry Me Bridal www.bridalgowns.com.au
Men's formal wear: T.M. Lewin www.tmlewin.com.au
Celebrant: Sarah Cummings, Engage Celebrants www.engagecelebrants.com.au
Photography & Video: Clarissa Lum, Clarzzique Photography www.clarzzique.com
Hair: Alecia Warry, The Salon at Chateau Ã‰lan www.thesalonchateauelan.com.au
Makeup: Lucy Topp makeup firstname.lastname@example.org
Cake: Frosted Fantasies www.frostedfantasies.com.au
Dessert Buffet: Lou Lou Events www.loulouevents.com
Stylist & Props: Affections Wedding & Event Hire www.affectionsweddingandeventhire.com.au
Stationery: Trouli Graphics www.trouligraphics.com.au
Flowers: Roses Only www.rosesonly.com.au
Personalised toasting flutes and cake knife set: Groovy Glass www.groovyglass.com.au
Horse and carriage: Hunter valley carriages: www.hvweddingcarriages.com.au
Music, singing and DJ: Mick Fetch www.huntervalleyweddingentertainment.com.au
Entertainment: The Three Waiters www.thethreewaiters.com.au
Fingerprint Tree: sSquared Workshop www.s2workshop.com.au
Generous Donation: Navarra Venues www.navarravenues.com.au