nada & paul

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How I met my future husband Paul
I decided to do a skydiving tandem jump with Ramblers at Coolum beach for my 44th birthday. It was fantastic, and I was hooked. Two weeks later, I commenced my skydiving course at Ramblers Toogoolawah. Paul was my instructor, and took me through my first 3 jumps. I liked him instantly, but wasn’t initially thinking about romance, as I was trying to focus on learning how to safely jump out of a plane. Paul secretly realised he was developing feelings for me, and decided he should hand me over to another instructor. He later told me that he made sure the instructor was one of the best in Australia, and also had two girlfriends, so would not have time for a third.

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Shaun - 2011-03-28 07:04:41

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The engagement
After 3 years of dating bliss where Paul would spoil me rotten and demonstrate in many ways how much he loved me, including waking up on a winter morning and placing my robe on the heater to pre warm for me, Paul proposed on my 47th birthday. He is so sentimental and romantic. I absolutely love this about him. He took me to Springbrook Mountain Chalets for a week long holiday. He presented me with 3 different gift wrapped boxes to open. The first contained tickets to Cirque du Soleil, the 2nd contained an IPod, and the 3rd contained my beautiful sapphire & diamond engagement ring. He spent months searching for the right ring. He would tell me that he was going to the gym, whilst he was actually searching for my ring. Before returning home, he would go to gym, simply so that he could feel he hadn’t actually lied to me. I knew that we would get married one day, and so did our friends. They all called me Mrs Taylor long before we got married, and Paul used to respond by saying “I’ve told her I’m going to keep her forever”. We both understood we would get married one day, but had never actually discussed it, so it was a beautiful surprise for me. I am so sentimental, I cried for a week. I would start crying, and Paul would ask why. I would say, because I am so happy. To realise that this man thought so much of me that he was prepared to dedicate the rest of his life to me, was the most beautiful thing I had ever experienced. I’m starting to cry again. Paul still tells the story where he lay down for an afternoon nap, only to wake up and find me surrounded by bridal magazines.

Shaun - 2011-03-28 07:34:12 in reply to Shaun 2011-03-28 07:04:41

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The dress
I could not wait to choose my dress. I wanted to know now what I would look like, and which dress would end up being the one of my dreams, and would grace my photo album forever. We had an 18 month engagement to give us time to save up for our wedding, so I had plenty of time to look. So many dresses, and only one occasion! I cannot believe I did this, and I will never live it down. I paid deposits on 4 different dresses. My family & friends still tease me. What came over me? Why could I not make seemingly simple decisions since becoming engaged? It was a truly national search. The first dress was a pink, full skirted Cinderella gown in Melbourne. Deposit paid (& lost - so choose carefully girls). Continuing to look through bridal magazines (tip - stop looking once deposit is paid) I found a slim fitting silver asymmetrical gown in Sydney. Deposit paid & lost. Dress number 3 was a beautiful creation by Darb Brisbane, and won an NRA Supreme award. I spotted it walking past the store on my way to getting my eyebrows waxed. I immediately understood this was real quality. A full skirt, french lace peeping out underneath silk organza, the detailing on the bodice was unbelievable. I tried it on and felt so special. This was it. Deposit paid. But, I needed to know if my husband would love the dress, yet I didn’t want to show him, so I asked him to identify dresses he loved in bridal magazines, and a common theme emerged. He absolutely hated full skirts, preferring a slimmer dress. How could I turn up wearing something he wouldn’t like. Back to Darb, and explained my dilemma. Understanding the quality of work produced by Darb, there was no way I was going to buy my dress from anyone else. Brad helped me to find another dress I fell in love with even more, and was certain Paul would love. It is just so beautiful. Again, the detail is amazing. The fabric is just simply special. There is no doubt in my mind I eventually found the dress that suited me best.

Shaun - 2011-03-28 08:00:06 in reply to Shaun 2011-03-28 07:34:12

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Fun with the engagement photos
We wanted our photos taken at Springbrook, where we became engaged. Not a problem for Shaun. He met us there and took so many gorgeous shots. We used one of them as our signing canvas for our wedding guests instead of the traditional book. It is a gorgeous shot of us near a waterfalls edge, surrounded by beautiful natural rainforest, and wildflowers. Seeing the engagement photos really helped me to feel comfortable about how I would look in my wedding day photos. Shaun went through the engagement photos with us, checking to see what style of photo we preferred - profiles, long distance, close up etc. You know what I mean - if you don’t like close up photos, or photos of your nose side on, the last thing you want is a wedding album full of them.

Shaun - 2011-03-28 09:19:40 in reply to Shaun 2011-03-28 08:00:06

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My hens
I’m not really a party girl, so I opted for a chocolate high tea at Stamford Plaza. I wasn’t sure how well it would be received, but the girls went nuts. My cousin took lots of photos for me, and I treasure these memories.

Shaun - 2011-03-28 09:25:03 in reply to Shaun 2011-03-28 09:19:40

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Paul's bucks party
The boys went to Moreton Island for the weekend. Apparently there was some sand toboganning going on around 2am. He came home wanting vegetables for dinner. All the boys had only packed meat & bread for 3 days. Not even a single can of baked beans or a potato in sight.

Shaun - 2011-03-28 09:28:27 in reply to Shaun 2011-03-28 09:25:03

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The venue
We visited a few different places, but the instant we saw the little 7cm x 7cm ad for Q1 in a bridal magazines, our minds were made up. It was perfect for a couple of skydivers - getting married on what felt like the top of the world. We had to wait an agonising 2 weeks to view the Skylight room at level 78 where we would get married & hold our reception. The views. Amazing. Looking down at other buildings that are 35 storeys high. The ocean goes on forever. There was never going to be any other venue for us. The event co-ordinator at Q1 was fabulous - standing guard at our reception, ensuring our every desire was fulfilled.

Shaun - 2011-03-28 09:35:40 in reply to Shaun 2011-03-28 09:28:27

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The invitations
We chose gorgeous navy velvet invitations with a silver ribbon to compliment the bridesmaid dresses & my silver 2nd wedding gown.

Shaun - 2011-03-28 09:41:15 in reply to Shaun 2011-03-28 09:35:40

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The flowers
Our florist, Always Fabulous Flowers. Sandy & Dave - really understand, and have a tonne of experience. Sandy interpreted what I was really after from the 100 or so photos I showed her, and I loved my classic all white bouquet which will stand the test of time.

Shaun - 2011-03-28 09:42:35 in reply to Shaun 2011-03-28 09:41:15

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The photographer
It seemed that each time a photo in a bridal magazine caught my eye, it was Shaun’s. The honest truth. The first was an action shot of a bridal party running down a beach, with a hang glider in hot pursuit. Being skydivers, this action shot really appealed. Without even meeting him, I felt Shaun would understand us. We found out later that he has done skydiving photography.

During our engagement photos, Shaun’s wife Linda told us that Shaun has had to come to the rescue of many a bride. She told us a story about Shaun having to do some sewing repairs to a bride’s dress, whilst she was still in it. That’s dedication. He was our man. We hired a Rolls Royce to take us from the ceremony to Miami beach for photos, and this car would not start for 5 minutes. Shaun instantly offered to drive us in his car. Luckily the Rolls started.

Every bride wants her photos within 5 minutes of the wedding. Shaun got them to us within a week - we were still on our honeymoon! Lucky Paul had set up internet access, and we could view them. I worked with a bride who waited 8 months for her photos.

If you are using Shaun for your wedding - listen to him. He has observed much, and is wise. Take his advice. He knows who can put your hair up and have it stay in place on a windy day at the beach.
He knows if you have a slim fitting dress, and it is windy, the dress will blow between your legs, and your shots won’t look so elegant. Even if you don’t listen to him, he’ll still be your friend and look after you.

Shaun - 2011-03-28 09:44:25 in reply to Shaun 2011-03-28 09:42:35

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The celebrant
A skydiver. Craig did a wonderful job, throwing in the appropriate amount of elegant humour & announcing to the guests that Paul was crying during the ceremony. Craig has filmed marriages in freefall, and told us a story of a freefall ceremony he performed. Everyone wore expensive suits, which became torn in freefall. Except for the groom, who wore a $20 Bali suit which did not sustain any damage.

Shaun - 2011-03-28 09:46:52 in reply to Shaun 2011-03-28 09:44:25

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My bridesmaids
It is such a beautiful thing to be able to invite your best friend, sister, and best young friend to take their special place by your side on your wedding day. I’m starting to cry again. The girls were thrilled and excited for me. I would recommend any bride ensures she has bridesmaids. They are such a big support throughout this important event, and the memories are there to be cherished forever. Poor Vanessa had to shave under my arms after I put my dress on, because I forgot. That’s dedication.

Shaun - 2011-03-28 09:47:51 in reply to Shaun 2011-03-28 09:46:52

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The song
Both my parents have passed away, and I wanted to acknowledge them in many ways on the day. As a youngster, they took me to an Andy Williams concert. I chose his song “You’re just too good to be true” to walk down the aisle. I’m crying again. The song provided the perfect words, and the perfect amount of time for my girls & I to walk down the aisle. Just as it started jazzing up a bit, we faded it out, and our ceremony began. We resumed the jazzy bit as soon as the ceremony was over - it worked well.

Shaun - 2011-03-28 09:48:45 in reply to Shaun 2011-03-28 09:47:51

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The big day
It had been raining hard for days leading up to our wedding. I resigned myself to limited views from Q1, and potentially missing out on beach photos at Miami. Shaun was quick to reassure me that there is rarely a day where you can’t get at least 5 minutes photos outdoors. The wind will be your enemy he said (how right he was - more on that under “Hair/Make up”). On the all important day, the weather was good when it counted. We had a rainbow during our ceremony - a good omen, I’m sure. And yes, Shaun captured it in a photo for us.

The boys went jet skiing in the morning. I threatened to send them to my make up lady if they became sunburnt. I also suggested they “wear something nice”, as “nothing is too much trouble for me Shaun” was going to meet them for photos at The Spit. They thought they would have some fun with my request, and bought themselves 2nd hand suits for the occasion. The jet ski operators panicked at first, thinking the boys had actually turned up in their real wedding suits and would ruin them.

Whilst the boys were on the water, the girls were primping and preening, having our hair & make up done. Shaun turned up to take some fun photos, and had some really great suggestions. Hmmm, the girls jumping on the bed, my idea, or his? Both of us have a bit of a naughty side.

I didn’t want to leave our room for photos, in case the guests saw me pre-ceremony, but Shaun gently convinced me that I didn’t want to end up with all my photos in the room. He had already identified some areas within and around Q1 that would make great photo locations, and I thank him sincerely for this. The variety of photos makes it more interesting. There is one fabulous photo of me on a staircase. Yes, a handful of guests saw me pre-ceremony. So what - I don’t know why I was concerned!

Shaun - 2011-03-28 09:53:19 in reply to Shaun 2011-03-28 09:48:45

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Hair / make up
Isn’t it fabulous how good you can look in the hands of professionals. Gosh, I felt so beautiful, and I have never seen my girls look so gorgeous. A bit like the dress, I had so many hair trials, to find the right one. That happens when you keep changing dresses. As my hairdresser told me, if you don’t have it, you can buy it - referring to my fine hair and her suggestion of clip in hair pieces. They really worked, and gave me many more options with styles.

Shaun - 2011-03-28 09:56:23 in reply to Shaun 2011-03-28 09:53:19

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No. 1 - I will never forget the joy on my husband’s face throughout our wedding. Shaun captured this perfectly, and the photo sits on my desk at work.

Shaun’s slide show. The guests just loved being able to see the photos the same day.

The magician/entertainer we hired for the reception was side splitting hilarious, and a big hit with our guests.

Shaun - 2011-03-28 11:09:41 in reply to Shaun 2011-03-28 09:56:23

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The sentimental stuff
With my Dad not being available to give me away, I chose my cousin Denny on my father’s side. He said he was “honoured”. We have always been close, but this has deepened our friendship.

My Aunt Therese took my mother’s place. I have a gorgeous photo of her placing the veil on my head.

Therese gave me a cross that mum had given her as a present when they were young teenagers. My florist worked this into my bouquet, along with my dad’s wedding ring. Shaun realised this must have been important to me, and without me asking or knowing, made sure these details showed up in my photos.

I chose roses for my bouquet to honour my mother, whose name was Rose.

I did a speech at our reception. I know it’s not traditional, but I wanted to let everyone know how wonderful my husband was. I starting off by saying “ever since the day we first met, 20th August 2005” - that’s as far as I got, because all my guests burst out laughing at how I had remembered the exact date. How could I forget - it was in my skydiving logbook under jump no. 1

Shaun - 2011-03-28 11:12:00 in reply to Shaun 2011-03-28 11:09:41

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My tips for fellow brides
Choose your suppliers well, and listen to their advice. They know what they are talking about.

If you go to the beach, make sure your hair will stay up. Mine fell out, and luckily my Aunt an ex hairdresser, was on hand.

Have more than 1 hair & 1 make up lady attending you and your bridesmaids. I had only 1 of each, and we had to start hair/make up at 8.30am to be ready in time for photos & ceremony. It would have been nice to have some more time to ourselves.

Dresses - I’m the least qualified to give you advice!

Marry for love. I did. My husband is so wonderful, and has not changed one little bit.

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Shaun - 2011-03-28 11:13:27 in reply to Shaun 2011-03-28 11:12:00

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