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Happily Ever Gardiner ⋆ Part One

I’m excited and nervous to write my little wedding series for you all! It was the happiest and most memorable day of my life. I know everyone says that, but it really was. I married the love of my life, my soulmate and my best friend. We’ve been through a lot in the 4 years we have been together, more than most will ever go through in their entire lives.
To give a little context to this, my other half was diagnosed with Stage IV Classical Hodgkins Lymphoma back in 2016. We had been together a little over a year. It hasn’t been an easy road and there have been tears, big decisions to make, difficult conversations and a lot more to get through. But in truth, I don’t think I’d change any of it for a second. It’s bonded us closer together and proved we were where and who we needed to be with.

I’ve decided to split this post into parts because as I was writing it I realised if I don’t it will become the mammoth of all blog posts. There’s a lot to cover and so if people were interested in reading I figured it would be easier to take it in bite-size pieces. So say hello to Part One of however many I write!

♡ Set Backs? ♡

We were originally planning on tying the knot in April 2018. Everything for the wedding was booked and I was going through the motions thinking I had plenty of time to get everything done. Life had other plans, as in November 2017 there were complications with Karne’s treatment and the situation we were faced with meant that either the wedding didn’t happen or we had to move it. Moving it back wasn’t an option because there were too many “if’s” and “but’s” and considerable financial loss to us if we did. After a bit of soul searching, we decided we had one shot at the wedding of our dreams and therefore the only choice we had was to bring it forward. So I (I say “I” because let’s be honest, I planned the whole shindig) now had 4 weeks to get everything done. Queue meltdown and panic attack..

♡ 22nd December 2017 ♡

We thought it was only fair to make all our vendors and everyone we had hired aware of our situation before we booked them – so they were clued in from the very beginning in case this kind of thing was to happen. Unfortunately, we weren’t eligible for the kind of insurance that saves you from these problems.. but thankfully each and every one of them was still available for us on such short notice and with very little prep time. This is where the pain in the arse hyper-organised side of my personality really came in handy! The dates were moved, final balances paid, catering and drinks menus selected, details finalised, flowers organised, accommodation arranged, invitations sent out, dress and suit fittings completed and everything else that needed to be done was systematically ticked off and sorted with military precision.

I was truly gutted because I didn’t think my best friend would be able to make it. She lives in New Zealand now and it just seemed really unlikely that she’d be able to get the time off work on such short notice, gather the funds and make such a long journey in time. But she surprised me, just like she always does, and told me she would be there if it killed her. She was coming and that was that! We were reunited at my venue the night before the big day to catch up, put the world to rites and reminisce over old times.

♡ Kirsty 

If you’re reading this – you are one of the brightest lights of my life and one of the best happy accidents I’ve ever had. She’ll know what I mean by this! I don’t know what I would do without your constant support and you will never know just how much I love and adore you. If angels exist and walk among us – you are most certainly one of them.

I thought I’d be nervous on my wedding day being the wallflower that I am. The thought of having all eyes on me for most of the day was very daunting. But when it came down to it I slept like a log the night before, woke up early and never wavered for a second. Sure, there were butterflies but the anxiety and the panic I was expecting wasn’t there. I guess because I knew what I had waiting for me at the bottom of the aisle.

When I saw how beautiful the venue looked I had to remember it was my wedding I was gawping at. Lesley from The Rustic Wedding Company had been there all day on Thursday and well into the evening to get everything ready. And then again for a lot of the morning, I believe to add all the final touches!
When we had booked her as our decorator I knew she was talented and had an eye for these things. But given the few ideas we gave her at our meetings, I had no idea she would pull something straight out of my wildest dreams. From the foliage and flowers on the chairs, the lace and bows and place settings right down to the centrepieces and the hot air balloons she had strung up on the ceiling. It was perfect.

I was joined by the rest of my bridesmaids not too long after hair and make-up arrived (around 8ish) and we were all having a good laugh and a giggle while we were getting ready. Jessica and Lena made us feel at ease and were so lovely the entire morning, you forgot they were strangers to us and felt like old friends.

♡ Hair and Make-up 

It’s really nice to get your make-up done by someone else – you feel really fancy! I’ve never had mine done professionally before. Truthfully I was worried about someone else doing it for me. Especially on a day where it would be immortalised in photos! But they both did an amazing job and it was absolutely perfect. Then when Jessica put their hairpieces on to finish off – my vision just came to life and they looked incredible!

The girls went upstairs to get ready and when they came back down I felt so lucky to have them all there with me. They really did look amazing! Like ethereal woodland princesses and the dresses looked gorgeous on all of them. I’ve mentioned before in a previous blog post that I actually got to pick and won my bridesmaid dresses so I have to give a big shout out to Little Mistress for choosing me as their winner!

The Dress

Then it was my turn! I went upstairs and put “her” on as best as I could without assistance and came down the stairs. My sisters face in the photos pretty much sums up everyone’s reaction. There was a lot of “ohh” and “ahh” and a few tears from the bridesmaids! It was a really strange feeling to have people cry because of how nice you look. And I really did feel beautiful.

I got mine from Gowns & Garters. My sister had bought her own from them and it’s part of the same line. If you’re curious, she is an Essence of Australia D2085 (it’s a very catchy name).
The sleeves had been added on just for me and the lace on the train was an extra touch too. To make the changes we did on my wedding dress was a big leap of faith! You don’t know how it’s going to turn out and all you have is an image in your head. You have to completely trust the person who is working on it. Julie, my seamstress, completely overwhelmed me with just how amazing it was when she was done. It was everything I had envisioned and knowing my dress is completely unique is a really special feeling. She’s currently being dry cleaned and boxed and will forever be a relic/memento of this day. If we have a daughter in the future, who knows, maybe she will wear it too.

That’s it for Part One! I hope you are all enjoying seeing the photos as I share them! I hope you’ll check back soon for Part Two ♡

☆ Photos by Casey Avenue Photography


  1. Your day looks beautiful! I hope your husband is improving and you both (being a caregiver takes its toll) can focus on happiness, good heath and love.

  2. Laura you have made me blush! I really enjoyed styling your beautiful wedding day! Looking forward to reading part two…!

    I’ve just put together a little post about your day over on my blog too if you fancy a read.

    Lesley xx

    The Rustic Wedding Company

    • Here’s part two
      Final installment coming soon haha.

      I read that – it was so nice to read and just reminded me of how freaking gorgeous it was. You’re an artist, that’s all I can say! z