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Saturday, July 21, 2012

Blessed for 22 years...

Tonight I am going to indulge myself and write a post about the most magical day of my life!  
I am going to tell you about my wedding to my hero 22 years ago today!

We married in a cute little church in my lovely hubby’s hometown because that is where we were posted at the time. 

The only family member I had present was my Mum because I am a Perth girl so my aunts and uncles couldn’t afford to come, nor could either of my sisters nor my two girlfriends from school days.  David’s family was there and lots of our RAAF and Navy friends.

We paid for our own wedding and therefore we had exactly what we wanted, a lovely intimate wedding with lots of special, though not expensive, touches.  It was a beautiful day.

I LOVED my dress.  It was everything I wanted.

I had a train for walking down the aisle but after the service it was hooked up onto a button under the bow  and stayed out of the way.  It was made of satin with a heavy lace overlay – nice but not hugely expensive.  And then the lace was beaded.

Robyn (below in purple) was the magician who made the dress.  Can you believe that way back in my early 20s she and I met at a nightschool class to learn to make PATCHWORK QUILTS!  This was just at the beginning of quilting in Australia.  It transpired that she was a civilian who worked at the Tailor Shop at the RAAF Base in Richmond where I was an Air Force Air Traffic Controller.   Small world!

Fast forward a few years and I had changed over to the Navy and was working at HMAS Cerberus on Victoria coast and had a selection of salty senior sailors working for me.  The least salty and senior was Jack and one day he said his wife thought she recognized me after seeing me on parade!  It was Robyn.  Later on when I announced my engagement Robyn offered to make my wedding dress.  In the intervening years Jack and Robyn had taken a posting to the States where Robyn had learned to make beautifully beaded wedding dresses.   Wasn’t I lucky!

I don't know how many hours she spent sewing beads on that dress but it was a lot of them and I loved it!  AND even better, it only cost about 1/5th or what it would have cost me had I found it in a Bridal Store!  

We hired a Ferrari to take my handsome hubby to the church.   hH still loves Ferraris to this day.  He and his groomsmen wore their Mess Kits to the wedding.  For the unitiated those are the formal attire that is the equivalent of a tuxedo I guess and they wear them for balls and formal dinners.  And they all look so handsome in them!

As my Dad had passed away the previous year my Mum and I rode together to the service in a super stretch Mercedes Limousine.    

My wonderful Nanna was too old and frail to come to the wedding  so we arranged a special lunch for her at the nursing home where she lived interstate.  These days she would have been able to watch the wedding on skype etc – not those days sadly – but I arranged her own little cake to cut, flowers for the table and a corsage for her and a special lunch for my aunt to share with her.  The staff hung tuille bows and used a white table cloth, dressed up the non-alcolholic bottle in a tuxedo. 

As I said, my Dad had passed away so my close friend Philip gave me away.  He and I had met on our Officer Training Course at RAAF Base Point Cook on Victoria.  I was the only female in a 21 man course.  Phil and I kept each other sane and stayed good friends.  He was the closest thing I had to a brother and I have ALWAYS wanted a brother.  He walked me down the aisle,  read a speech on behalf of my Mum and Dad and proposed the toast to the Bride and Groom.  Sadly he is not so good at keeping in contact (major understatement) and not long after this he married his perfect match, an American girl called Joyce, and together they moved to the States.  We are still in touch but I don't hear from him much!

By the way, check out that chauffeur - you could not have scripted a better looking chauffeur and he had a cheeky personality too!

We had a beautiful service and left the church with a Military Guard of Honour made up of some of my hubby's Air Force Engineering Course mates.   Would you believe one of those fellows is an Air Vice Marshall now - oh that makes me feel OLD! 

Standing with us in this photo is Rosco - he was an Air Force steward in the Officer's Mess where my hubby and I had lived as single officers.  He was such a character!  He played the bag pipes for us to take me down the aisle and piped us out of the church afterwards.  So special!

These two fellows were two of my senior sailors.  Bob on the left and Wally on the right.  They were fabulous guys and I would love to know where they are now.  Bob left the Navy and retired to the country and Wally, well Wally was a treasure!  He bought this brand new suit especially for the wedding as he had agreed to escort my Mum down the Aisle into the church and also to partner her for those first Bridal Dances in my father's absence.  How special.  Wally was a single bloke, an only child, with deceased parents - no family at all - and lived in a beautifully maintained caravan in a permanent site.  When I first started Aussie Heroes he was one of my inspirations.  Who would have sent him parcels?

Here are the rest of the guys.  I don't know where any of them are these days.
They were the best.  There is just something about this group that made them special.
Oh the stories I could tell!

And finally, this is where we honeymooned!  A gorgeous old fashioned romantic little cottage in Bendigo Victoria.  It was wonderful!

And in a great moment of weakness - yes, here is a photo of me!
This is us today - 22 years later - we don't look the same, but we have made it through 22 years of ups and downs and I still think he is the best gift  I have ever been given.

Happy Anniversary to my wonderful hubby!  
I will always love you!


  1. There you go getting me all misty-eyed Jan-Maree!! What a lovely day the two of you had!! And that wedding dress is divine!!! ... Congratulations on 22 years together!! You truly have been blessed!! Hugs!

  2. Thank you for sharing your wedding day memories, Jan-Maree. Congratulations on your 22 years of marriage, and may there be many many more.

  3. Thank you for sharing your wedding day memories, Jan-Maree. Congratulations on your 22 years of marriage, and may there be many many more.

  4. Congratulations on 22 years of marriage! It's great fun looking back at pics from younger days! Your wedding gown was just gorgeous! And I love what you did for your Nanna, she must have felt very special.

  5. That was a lovely blogpost... Congratulations and I wish you many more years of happiness ...

  6. You were beautiful that day and now too! What a special touch to set up the cake and decorations for Nana. You are always so thoughtful!

  7. What a beautiful wedding and love story. Happy Anniversary. Reminds me of our own small wedding only my dress was awful. I also had it made but somehow the dressmaker and I didn't communicate very well. Made my own head piece. We decided to get married during spring break from college, my parents were deceased and my only sister lived out of town. I lived with a lovely family and she became my mother of the bride and he walked me down the isle, they were like surragate parents. The wedding vows took and we have been married 58 years, not without difficulty but we have always been willing to work through them. Lucky are those who find their perfect mate in life.

  8. How lovely to walk down memory lane with you! Your dress was lovely! Congratulations on 22 years!!!!

  9. Happy Anniversary! What a lovely bride you were and what a beautiful couple you are. Congratulations and prayers for many more years to come!

  10. Oh....what beautiful memories!! And a beautiful dress! Congratulations!

  11. Thanks for sharing your day that was lovely,may you have many more wonderful years together.

  12. beautiful moving story congrats soon we will have our 15th

  13. Oh Happy Anniversary! What a wonderful post. ox

  14. What a Beautiful Post Thanks so Much for Sharing with Us...
    Happy Anniversary..

  15. Absolutely gorgeous and thank you for sharing all your wonderful memories of your big day... happy anniverary to you both xxxx

  16. Happy Anniversary! Lovely post.

  17. Happy Anniversary Jan-Maree. Thank you for sharing your wedding photos. I just love a good love story.

  18. Happy Anniversary, Jan-Maree! What a special treat to read about your lovely wedding. I love the special touches you added to include your Nanna and aunt. How very thoughtful. What a beautiful love story. Here's to many, many more years of happiness together!!

  19. OH i love weddings, happy anniversary. Look at you, wow, so gorgeous & i love the moustache off between your husband & the chauffeur, hilarious!! Congratulations, that is no mean feat by today's standards to be so happy after so long. Love Posie

  20. How sweet! What a beautiful couple you make!
    I'm going back to catch up and today, July 31, happens to be my 42nd anniversary to my great husband. It's really nice that wonderful men are still out there. It looks like we each caught one!


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