How long have you been together?
R: Caylagh and I met up through friends of friends at a local pub for a few drinks and to play a few games of pool…safe to say we were both pretty smitten from the very beginning!
I was working FIFO (two weeks away, one week home) at the time. We exchanged numbers and began texting and calling all day- every day! Those first two weeks I’d spent away from Caylagh after meeting her flew by so fast, it felt like I had known her for a lifetime with the constant chats!! I had learned pretty quickly that we both had the same love for theatre, and the day I got back from work, I surprised her with our first proper date; we went to a fancy dinner followed by Wicked at the theatre- from there we became completely inseparable!
Six weeks later, we had a few too many wines, and right on midnight whilst lying in bed, Caylagh began freaking out suddenly. I thought she was having some sort of attack, I had no idea what was wrong, but then she began nervously giggling and mumbled something. After a few minutes went by, I finally clicked on and realized she was asking me to be her girlfriend. I thought she was joking and laughed it off. The next morning, sober Caylagh re-asked me to be her girlfriend, and for once in my life, I was speechless. Obviously, I said yes, and here we are over close to five years later, planning our wedding!
Talk to us about planning the proposals – there were two!
R: At the end of 2017, we randomly went to a travel expo for a sticky beak and unexpectedly bought tickets to Los Angeles!!! An epic trip to America and Canada was always on both mine and Caylagh’s bucket lists. We were unbelievably excited and immediately began planning our trip of a lifetime! Once planning got in to full force and we started locking in some of the places we were going to visit, I knew I wanted to propose to Caylagh on our grand adventure.
Caylagh and I started a ‘must-do’ list. It was clear she was extremely excited to go to Central Park in New York and to a log cabin we booked amongst the snow-covered mountains in Banff (Canada). After Caylagh mentioned these, I knew that those locations would be the best times to propose as she was most excited about them. I had to look up the dates we were going to be there and very quickly realized that I had NO CHANCE of carrying the ring with me for close to 2.5 months to propose in Banff, so I scrapped that idea. New York would be less than a month, which was a lot more achievable, so New York was officially my number one choice. As for the secret-keeping, that was EXTREMELY painful. I kept checking on the ring at least once a day to make sure it was still there.
C: From the very moment we locked in our flights to America, I knew that I would propose. Richelle would always get so excited when she would talk about the trip and the places we were going to see, but because I couldn’t choose just any random date as Richelle is funny about dates.
When I thought about it a little more, I realized that the 6th of December was our 3.5 year anniversary and that we had planned to be in New Orleans, which was one of the top places Richelle always wanted to visit so to me, that was my number one choice. I hate surprises and really struggle to keep surprises a secret, so it was really hard. I had to tell one of my mates before I left that I was going to propose. Otherwise, I would have exploded and ruined the surprise!
Tell us about the proposals!
It was under a 175-year-old oak tree in New Orleans that Caylagh asked me to be her wife! Well actually, to be completely honest, she froze, very much like the time she asked me to be her girlfriend!
Let’s rewind a little…
Looking back, I actually feel completely sorry for Caylagh on this day, as I was a complete nuisance!
Caylagh woke me up super lovely and told me to get ready so she could take us somewhere really cool. Of course, I took an hour to get ready (and the rest). We finally leave, and of course, I mention how much I desperately need Starbucks coffee and some breakfast, so a little detour it is!
Keep in mind that Caylagh knew she was going to propose and was trying to keep her nerves somewhat un-noticeable.
Then I decided that I really wanted to do a quick shop in Walmart, because well, it’s Walmart, and we don’t have that in Australia. A pair of jeans, a scarf, and half an hour later, we get back to the adventure Caylagh wanted to take me on.
We finally get there, and all the gardens were immaculate! It was seriously so beautiful! We then had a tour and then got to look around the property. We started walking towards the oak trees where Caylagh decided to set up the tripod so we could get some nice pictures…well the tripod kept falling over and sending us into hysterics! It finally starts working, and as we were taking photos, I turned to Caylagh, and she had a box with the most unbelievable ring in her hands! I looked up at her, and she was just standing in complete shock with tears running down her face so excitedly! I asked her if she was really asking me something….and after a few moments of silence..that is when she finally muttered the words “Will you marry me?” of course I said yes, and I too started crying! It couldn’t have been more perfect!
We had the most magical afternoon in New Orleans and finished our day at a beautiful little hidden courtyard filled with artwork and fountains not to mention an incredible live Jazz band. The couple next to us noticed my ring, and after telling them our day the band overheard and dedicated a song to us, which happened to be ‘What a Wonderful World’, which is a song near to Caylagh and I’s hearts.
This day was truly beyond perfection!
Something I never considered was that Caylagh had intentions of proposing to me on our trip!! I knew that we joked about getting married in Vegas, but I always said that I would never get married unless we both had engagement rings. So, to be honest, I didn’t think that was going to happen, and that it was just a little joke.
So, when Caylagh proposed, to say it surprised me would be the understatement of the century! I was so focused on me proposing to Caylagh that I hadn’t even contemplated her proposing to me… but she did… and she beat me to it!
This HUGELY threw me off, and I didn’t know if I would be able to stick to my proposal plans. It also didn’t help that every day after Caylagh proposed to me, she would say “I’m ready” and would then place her hand out for me to propose! She even suggested we go get her a ring so we could be engaged together. Also, might remind you that Caylagh previously told me she didn’t need a proposal, or a ring! Well, what a load of honkytonk that was!
BUT, I stuck to my guns and put up with Caylagh nagging me to propose for a grueling 16 days!!
I barely slept two hours the night before as I was ridiculously excited! I ran out and bought breakfast, some coffees and supplies for later in the day. When I got back, I started frantically cleaning the hotel room because I was so nervous! Caylagh woke up and was so excited that I got breakfast and a coffee before she even woke up. She asked why I was cleaning, and I explained that it was because the cleaners were coming and I didn’t want to be messy or get anything stolen.
I had already packed our backpack for our scheduled day trip to Central Park. Caylagh kept commenting on how heavy it was, and I insisted on carrying it, but I explained that it was just heavy as I had lots of clothes as it was going to be MINUS 6 DEGREES!!
Then off we left.
After a few hours of walking through Central Park, we realized that we were getting lost and slowly turning into ice blocks, so we stopped for some NY hotdogs and hot chocolate! Three hours after our hot dog stop and plenty of sightseeing with me acting like I knew where we were going, Caylagh said it was time to go home. I immediately started freaking out, saying how much I really wanted to see the Bethesda Fountain. Caylagh looked a little concerned, and I just covered my nerves with the thought of us being so close to it….so we continued searching!
Finally, we get to the fountain and the whole area was filled with so many beautiful colours, mosaic tiles, musicians busking everywhere and so many caricature artists!
I got Caylagh to sit on the edge of the fountain and try to set up video recording on the camera for when I ask her to marry me… and I couldn’t get it to work! Caylagh offered to help, but I already had the ring ready so I tried playing it cool and said that I was fine.
I could hear Caylagh rambling and saying, “…gosh, this would be a pretty place to propose, hey hunny, I’m ready!” and I was thinking to myself that it was ruined and she knew what I was trying to do… BUT when I finally got the camera on record and turned around with the ring in my hand, I knew she had no idea. I walked toward her, got down on one knee and said her full name and asked her to marry me, she was in complete shock but excitedly managed to ask, “what are you doing?” I replied, “Will you marry me” she finally said the words…” Of course, I will Hunny!” she jumped into my arms and couldn’t say a word as she was so stunned.
We went and sat on a park bench, mainly so Caylagh wouldn’t pass out and so I could stop shaking!
I reached into the backpack and pulled out Caylagh’s favorite bottle of red wine and some little wine glasses. It was then that Caylagh clicked as to why the bag was so damn heavy the whole day! It was such a surreal moment and a day that we’ll never forget, there was a violinist sitting and playing at the fountain while we had our celebratory wine!
We were both in disbelief for weeks that we both got engaged on our trip, without either one knowing it was coming! We never imagined that our holiday would include a DOUBLE ENGAGEMENT!! It was and will always be our most cherished, and most unbelievable adventure!
You kinda went and got married sporadically while you were on that holiday – tell us the details!
C & R: We both love Elvis and have always said that we would love an Elvis/ Vegas Wedding. We knew that we were going to be passing through Vegas toward the end of our trip, so it definitely crossed our minds to do it – go and get married in Vegas. But, we knew that our friends and family would hate to miss our wedding, so we crossed it off and decided it was a no go.
However, when we got to Vegas, we couldn’t stop thinking about it. On our second last day in Vegas Caylagh mentioned it again, I said we couldn’t. Then, Caylagh insisted that we have to get married in Vegas, she told me to check the date, I could believe it, 19.01.19, date heaven for me!
At exactly 10:30 am, we decided ‘when in Vegas’ and booked a chapel for 7 pm that day!
With no fancy clothes, plenty of tulle, diamanté’s for days, and 1000 gallons of tackiness, we did it, WE GOT MARRIED IN VEGAS BY ELVIS! We were absolutely stoked and celebrated by staying at the Bellagio Hotel! We called all of our close friends and family and as happy as they were, they wished they could have been there. Luckily for them, we already decided we would have both dream weddings, one in Vegas & one back home in Australia!
What does your engagement [and marriage!] mean to you both, has anything changed?
R: For as long as I can remember, I have dreamt of getting engaged and having a dream wedding one day. My parents are high school sweethearts, and still to this day, they are very much smitten with each other, which is something I have always really admired about them. I love everything about love. I love date nights, engagements, weddings, romantic gestures, romantic movies, hearing other love stories, anything really to do with love, I absolutely adore!
Being engaged to me simply means that I truly believe that I have found that person, my person, the one human that I want to share all of the love I have within me with, for the rest of my life.
C: I was never really sure if I wanted to get married or even have an engagement ring. But when I met Richelle, I realized that getting married means a lot to her, and as we spoke more about marriage, it started to mean a lot to me. For me now, it is joining both of our dreams and aspirations and combining our two families into one.
Being engaged means that I get to spend the best moments of my life, with the person I love most in this world and that we get to create an amazing family we get to call ours.
How is the second wedding planning going?
C & R: We began wedding planning a few months after getting back from our trip. It was mostly just sharing our ideas and discussing our visions. Surprisingly for both of us, we have the exact same vision. We both want an intimate wedding with no more than 50 guests, a more relaxed, laid back cocktail event, with good food, good booze, and good tunes!
Photography by Jess Leigh