Madison + Damien
How did you meet?
We were both working on the Emerald Princess cruise ship in the Mediterranean. My husband was a cast dancer in the production shows and I was the Assistant Cruise Director. On my first night on board, he approached me in the buffet dining area and we sat and ate together. We both fell in love instantly. Our first official date was in Rhodes, Greece, where we got our first photo together at a historical clock tower, our second date was in Italy eating ice-cream on the Amalfi Coast, and our third in Spain walking through the streets of Barcelona. We travelled the world together for 4.5 years on ships before settling down as Primary School teachers in Sydney. We got engaged in 2019 in Disneyland in Tokyo right in front of the castle – talk about magical.
When did you know they were the one?
We both remain adamant to the day that it was the second we both saw each other, there was just something there and we both could feel it. Relationships on ships are hard, but I knew he was the one and we were determined to make it work. We both promised that we would stay together for as long as we were both happy and having fun – to this day it’s never stopped being fun.
What are your three favourite attributes of your partner?
His kindness and generosity – he puts everyone else before himself and would do anything for those he holds dear. He’s truly selfless and it’s one of my favourite qualities about him.
His intelligence – he is the smartest person I know, he challenges me everyday to think about things, or consider perspectives I wouldn’t have though of. We have the most incredible conversations, but he’s also not afraid to be a total goofball.
His smile – I know, it’s superficial and cheesy, but it’s one of the first things I noticed. I can always tell when he’s truly and completely happy because he can’t help but have the biggest grin on his face. I can see that in our wedding photos together and that will always make me remember the most perfect day we had.
Who proposed and how?
He proposed to me underneath the castle in Tokyo, Disneyland. Japan had always been special for us, and we had fallen in love with the culture when we had gone 6 months prior (as our first official holiday after retiring from ships). The day was magical and the weather was perfect, I wasn’t expecting it at all. He knew I would want to share the moment with my family back home as my family and I are so close, so he arranged a 3 hour photo shoot around the park afterwards. I now have so many photos of the engagement that I can share with our friends and family that it almost feels like they were there with us – it truly was perfect.
Where did you fall in love with your dress and why?
I took a sneaky trip up to Queensland (as I live in Sydney) to visit my family. My sister-in-law took the day off work and it was just her, Mum and I. We went around to a few dress shops and ended up at Made With Love as our last appointment for the day. My sister-in-law had got her wedding dress from MWL also for her wedding in 2019. I looked around and was adamant I wanted a plain dress. Nothing felt quite right. The lady asked me to try on the MWL Carla, and I was so unsure. My Mum told me to give it a go, and the second I put it on and looked in the mirror I burst into tears. The lace reminded me of Japanese cherry blossoms and it was the perfect fit – I felt so beautiful. Just how every bride deserves to feel on their wedding day. I didn’t believe in that “ah-ha” moment you hear about with wedding dresses until it happened to me. I actually committed to buying it before even asking the price – for me it was just perfect.
What was the best moment for you at the wedding?
The best moment for us both was the reception – which was totally unexpected. For having such a crazy lifestyle travelling around on ships for so many years, we’re both pretty quiet and withdrawn people. We actually contemplated cutting down the ‘dancing’ and partying time at the end because we didn’t think anyone would want to get up and dance. Everything about the day was perfect, but when we had all finished meals, and they cleared away tables, this party-vibe just exploded. Maybe it was the fact that it was our third wedding we had planned (two prior date-changes due to Covid), maybe it was the fact that it was the first big event after restrictions being lifted, or maybe it was just the open bar and three bottles of Fireball that were snuck in by my brother…but the dance floor was electric. For us it was just being surrounded by all our loved ones who were all there to celebrate us. But it was so much fun. We definitely didn’t want it to end!
What advice would you tell other brides?
I know it’s cliché, but enjoy every moment! It goes so so so fast. At the end of the day, all those little things that you spend months stressing over just melt away. The day runs flawlessly, and you’re completely surrounded by all your loved ones that are 100% there to celebrate YOU! Have the people that you want, have the day that you want because when it arrives, and you know you’ve done everything the way you wanted – there’s no way you’ll have any regrets because it will be perfectly you.
What were your favorite details?
Some of our favourite details were our arbour which was moved around from ceremony to reception, our custom “Madi + Damien” neon light, and of course our florist. She managed to make this floral-lined aisle, that transformed into a cocoon of incredible flowers that surrounded us at the bridal table – it felt magical!
Something that was really special to me also was having my Mum as my Maid of Honour. She is and always has been my best friend. When I was little, the person I most wanted to be was her. So having her stand beside me once more, on the biggest day of my life, just felt really special.
Any standout vendors?
Our photographer and videographer duo – Rose and Lachlan from SomethingsWild Weddings. They are honestly worth every single cent you pay for them and more. They’re so in sync as a couple and their shared vision for weddings is just perfection. They have this incredible talent for being able to somehow perfectly capture the essence of the day and the couples they are working with. I have watched our video on repeat for hours and reminisced through the photos hundreds of times. They captured everything perfectly, and when it’s such a special day that goes so incredibly fast, you want to know that you’re in good hands! I wouldn’t be able to trust anyone else but them, I could not fault them at all.
I’ve already gushed about our dreamy florist but she transformed our venue perfectly. We unfortunately were some of the many covid couples that were affected by the craziness in the world. We booked and planned not one, or two, but three weddings and I have to say they were so kind, and compassionate and understanding. No problem was too small and they were so supportive throughout the whole stressful process. They were such a big part in us having the perfect day that we dreamed about, almost 3 years in the making! They were so attentive on the day, and I didn’t have to stress about a thing because our wedding coordinator already had it covered! They were such a pleasure to work with, and the venue speaks for itself. With perfect weather overlooking the incredible Manly Beach! It was the best decision we made to hold both our ceremony and reception there!
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