Its a bit of a soppy story - Mark and I went to the same school and hence have known each other since year 5. Naturally in class we were always seated in alphabetical order so that the teachers could learn students names easily, and being a Snowden (Mark) and Truong (me), he always sat behind me in class. Mark probably spent too much time staring at my hair than the blackboard. We did become the best of friends (and yes dated for a bit during high school too!) but after graduating we went to discover what life outside the four walls (or school fence boundary line in our case) had to offer and inspire. We met up again and being inseparable from then on and as they say, the rest is history.
One day I got asked if I wanted to go and work in the London office and the first person that I called was Mark. He was having a bad day at work and immediately his answer was, "Yes, let's do it!" We had only been living in our house for 4 months, not even enough time to have created a dent in our new sofa but we sold everything and started the adventure - from driving around Ireland, meeting Lenin (embalmed) in Moscow, Christmas markets through Germany, tulips in Amsterdam, hiking through Cinque Terra in Italy, weekend trips to Paris, visiting the home of IKEA in Sweden and everywhere else in between...oh and also working of course! We lived in a tiny apartment in West Kensington and although life was simple we had each other to laugh with. We learnt a lot about each other those two years.
We were living in London when Mark proposed. It was Valentine's Day and both being not big celebrators of the day it was just another day for me so certainly it was a huge surprise. It was a freezing Saturday night and Mark proposed to me in Trafalgar Square - the heart of London, which has seen many historical moments staged here so in some way we were creating our own bit of history to add to it!
My response to Mark was: "If I say yes, can we go home and will you make me a cup of tea?!"
Planning The Wedding
We love the outdoors so naturally it had to be an outdoor venue, something different, with a relaxed atmosphere and the Quarry Amphitheatre just ticked those boxes for us when we saw photos of a wedding we were invited to while living in London that was held there. It love at first sight or at least over the Internet.
We have been very blessed in both life and in love, and this is because of the family and friends which we have. Mark comes from a family of three boys and I come from a family of three girls so naturally we were a welcome addition to each others families. Mark and I have the same circle of friends so very much they have shared the love story journey that Mark and I went through since year 5 too. They are like family to us also.
We had five of our guests make the big trip from London including Mark's older brother Glen (best man), my older sister, my bridesmaid Kasia who went the long way around and did the US, Canada, New Zealand, Brisbane then Perth, and Mark's other brother Ryan who came from Beijing, China. Guests also came from Queensland, and family came up from Denmark...not where Queen Mary lives but from down south in Perth. I thought I would give them a mention as I know it is a very long drive!
I made my own wedding bouquet as wanted to keep it on my bedside table after the wedding as a reminder of the day. Whats more beautiful is that in the morning as the sun shines through it reflects off the beads making the room sparkle which is always nice to wake up to, added to waking up next to hubby!
I had talked about having red shoes for as long as I have been engaged. Culturally, red is a lucky colour. I searched high and low for shoes for months and months, on the Internet and going to every store waiting patiently for each change of season to find the shoes. I found the shoes when I least expected and where I least expected. I certainly believe in good things come to those who wait. I added my own personal touch by sticking on the buckles. They were more photographed on the day than my dress by the guests. Mark's mum made our wedding cake. A labour of love in religiously pouring brandy on it over many months. It was decorated with paper bark and an assortment of native nuts and flowers. Mark's dad made our cake stand from some old wood tree trunks from a black boy and also the cake serving trays.
Our wedding was very much planned about being environmentally conscious and hence a lot of DIY came into play an important role. We used recycled paper and envelopes for our invitations, our save the dates were made from seeded paper encouraging guests to plant and grow a eucalyptus tree. We had collected and washed what felt like a million glass jars which we subtly decorated with twine with tea light candles inside and placed these. Glass jars lined the isle down the steps with Australian native banksia and wattle flowers which filled some of the jars too. Our table decorations were more glass jars with twine around them and tea light candles which were surrounded by gum tree wreaths. We gave away native Australian tubestock to guests as wedding favours. Where ever possible our wedding was super green in more ways just a colour! We asked everyone to make a donation to the charity of their choosing in lieu of a wedding gift in honour of our wedding.
The day went so fast for me! I had a really relaxing day compared to the day before (we had a tea ceremony) so it was Mark's turn to sweat it out! I heard that just before I walked down the aisle, Mark's brother Glen turned to him and pointed out some words that were inscribed on the limestone rock up high. They read "The point of no return" and Mark's response was "Yes please, bring it on!"
The tea ceremony we had the day before was very special. A lot of our friends and particularly Mark's family had never experienced such a thing, so this day was just magical to share.
I married my best friend. The one I cannot live without.
Thu and Mark's wedding is also featured on Polka Dot Bride! You can see the post here :)