Words by Raun
Ray and I will be celebrating 22 years together in November of 2020. It has been the best ride ever, and neither of us would change a thing. We met many moons ago working together, and we both agree it was a magical spark from the very onset.
You got engaged on your 19th anniversary – tell us about that day!
It was around the time of the marriage equality debate in Australia. We were dining at our favorite venue, Mandoon Estate, The Wild Swan, for yes, our 19th anniversary.
I had planned a romantic walk after our meal to the river to propose; little did I know Ray had a similar idea. Ray excused himself to the bathroom and I awaited his return. On his return, he dropped to a knee at the table, and asked for my hand in marriage – (goodness, recapping it now I am welling up with tears) it was the most romantic setting, with my true soul mate.
I couldn’t have imagined a better outcome – it was truly magical.
There were tears from us, and the people around us. We were being looked after by our lovely Restaurant Manager Mel – even she was in tears!
Twenty years in the making, I think I knew from the very start that this was the man I wanted to spend the rest of my life with – and Ray will tell you the same thing. We were meant to be!
Did you undertake any DIY projects for the big day?
I guess the pics of our loved ones that had passed, and we wanted to make them important and be a part of the wedding. So we framed some of our favorite pictures of the ones we love and had them at the ceremony and reception. This was very important to us.
How did you go about finding your suits?
We knew immediately that we wanted to be similar – but reflect the difference in our characters. MJ Bale on St Georges Terrace helped us find the perfect outfits that made us feel relaxed, comfortable, and ready for the big day. We love our outfits on our perfect wedding day.
And how was the wedding day?
Raun: The day went far too fast. I am trying to convince Ray we should do a renewal – so watch this space!
We were enamored by the love and support of the people that love us dearly. We had family come from the USA, the Eastern States, and parts of Western Australia. The day was a celebration of LOVE!
We stayed at the accommodation, The Colony at the Mandoon. So we were relaxed and ready for the day of the wedding. Everything went to plan and was perfection. We couldn’t have asked for a better experience – hence the desire to do it all over again!
Our fur-baby Sonshine, aka Sonny, was my best man. Sadly, Son passed three days after the wedding, but he will live on in our hearts and memories always. We are both so glad he got to see his Dads marry and be a part of the wedding.
A favorite moment was slow dancing with my Husband.
Our last dance was to Etta James At Last. It was the most romantic time – under the stars, the festoon lights my Husband and I – completely in love!
Do you have a standout vendor?
We invited Sara [photographer], Josh [celebrant], Craig [event coordinator] & Jo [musician] to our reception as we fell in love, and made some beautiful friends in the wedding planning process.
What does marriage mean to you?
Marriage, to us, is more than recognition and paper. Marriage, to us is being treated equally.
Isn’t it a beautiful day when I can introduce the love of my life as my Husband? And boy, do I ever! I use this title 100% of the time. We have the right to use this title. I am proud of this title. I am proud to be a gay man in the year 2020 and say I have a husband, the man of my dreams, and we are so in LOVE!
Now to convince Ray to throw a vow renewal…