Tamika + Aaron
How did you meet?
It was October 2012; I was 19 years old and bar tending. Aaron barely said a word to me and honestly, I didn’t think he even noticed me. Aaron kept coming to the bar I worked out and he started making playful comments. After some back and forward nothing actually came of it until Aaron asked me on our first date. He took me to a bench in Shellharbour village with a coffee and we talked for hours. I actually still have the jumper I wore on our first date. 8 years later and we have not looked back.
When did you know they were the one?
I would say I knew Aaron was the one before he even had a chance to consider it. Loving Aaron has always been so easy, he truly gets me more than anyone in this world. He makes me laugh when I am sad, keeps me calm when I am angry and dances with me in the rain. But Aaron and I had been dating for two months when I introduced him to my sister Kiara who was in foster care. One night we were dropping her back off at her foster carers and Aaron turned to me and said we can’t keep bringing her back here, we need to have her come and live with us. I honestly burst into tears and we started the process of adopting her. Kiara has been with us now for seven and a half years and will be turning 21 soon. Watching Aaron be a father figure to Kiara cemented for me that I could not imagine having my own children with anyone but him.
What are your three favourite attributes of your partner?
Aaron is selfless, his family comes first no matter what.
Aaron has the patience of a saint, I am extrovert and have so much energy he needs to keep up with.
Aaron loves me with every inch of his being to quote my vows:
“Not only did you choose to love me, but you chose to love Kiara as well
That even after 8 years you still send me a good morning message every single day,
The way you laugh at my jokes, even when they’re not funny,
How you dance with me in the kitchen even when you’re tired,
The way you sing Wonderwall to me when you’ve had a few too many and you can’t even remember the words,
That you always stay up way too late laughing with me, until we both fall asleep
But mostly I love the way you really see me, all of me”
Who proposed and how?
Aaron is very shy and he wanted to propose to me in the spot where we had our first kiss but it was a bench which is very busy on the weekends as it is beside Shellharbour village. So Aaron thought he would propose to me at night, full proof plan right? The night he decided to propose we had a friend’s birthday and Aaron knew the night was not going to plan when he turned around and I was ordering a round of patron. Opps. So the next day he decided he still wanted to propose as it was tradition to walk along the harbour with a bacon and egg roll to cure a hangover. I ruined his plan again by sitting on the wrong bench and in a panic he threw his food on the ground thinking if we got attacked by seagulls I would move benches.. how so very wrong he was. Instead I insisted we continued the custom hangover walk but once we got to a spot in front of where he likes to surf he asked me to sit with him. Aaron said to me this is going to be our spot forever and told me he wanted to propose to me last night and when my jaw dropped he said I have got the ring on me now do you want to see it. So he got down on one knee and said will you marry me? I screamed before I said yes, started crying and gave him a million kisses. I was going to marry my best friend.
Where did you fall in love with your dress and why?
Finding my dress was always a moment that was full of emotions as I do not have a mum to share that special time with. I had been to a few boutiques but when I stepped into Storybook Bridal in Gerringong I felt so much love in the room and when the consultant pulled out 4 Made with Love dresses I got Goosebumps over my hold body. When I put on Carla, I burst into happy tears. I had never felt so beautiful in my whole life. My bridesmaids were there and my grandmother was on the phone, we all cried, even the consultant. I danced around the boutique and didn’t want to take Carla off. It is a day I will always cherish.
What was the best moment for you at the wedding?
I would have to say the ceremony. I have never felt the pure happiness that moment had before. It felt like the whole world stopped and all I could see was Aaron. Our ceremony was bespoke (written about our story), we heard it for the first time along with our guests and it was us perfectly to a tea. Our celebrant Matt had the perfect balance of laughs and tears, which is exactly who we are. We both wrote our own vows and although we hadn’t heard each other’s they were so similar we couldn’t believe it. All of our guests laughed and cried the whole way through and we are so lucky to have it on film.
What advice would you tell other brides?
Don’t get bogged down in what you think your day should look like, stay true to the things that are important to you. I am a control freak and everyone thought I would spend the whole day worrying but honestly I spent so much time prepping and planning with my vendors I had complete confidence they knew my timeline, they knew what I wanted and how I wanted it so on the day I couldn’t tell you what the time was or where I was supposed to be. Aaron and I also made our bridal party grab us and take us outside of the venue so we could have a few moments to ourselves and really take it all in. Make sure you really look at your guests, when you are sitting at that bridal table look out into the sea of faces, of all the people you love and take it all in. Laugh, dance, cry and feel all of the things.
What were your favourite details?
We were originally supposed to get married in May 2020 but had to postpone like many other brides. When anyone asked if we would elope we were both so firm that our day would not be the same without our families and friends. The week of our wedding it almost happened again and we were trying to keep the nerves calm and most of our family did not arrive in the state until the night before. So I am sure you understand by now it was our friends and family, their love, their tears, their laughter, their hugs, their kisses and dancing with them until we could not dance anymore.
Any standout vendors?
Celebrant: Married by Matty
Photographer: Matt Daisy
Videographer: Billie Devine
These three people made our day everything it was, I cannot explain how much passion they have for their part of your day. Anyone lucky enough to book them will understand what I mean.
Ceremony: Killalea State Park/Reception: City Beach Wollongong
Wedding rings: Michael Hill, Bride Earrings: Maara Collective X Gillawarra Arts
Bridesmaids: Ayala and Oak
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