20 Apr Ben & Sarah
Groom Name: Ben
Venue: Guildford Hotel, Guildford, Perth, WA
Photographer: Simone Addison Photography
What do you love and admire most about your wife Sarah?
Her support for me is endless, and she inspires me in every single thing I strive towards, whether it’s a new hobby or studying something new or going for a promotion. It doesn’t matter what it is, I feel her next to me supporting me. She also is such a compassionate and loving person. It drives me to be as good a person as I can be so I can give her all the things she deserves.
How did you pop the Question?
I had a sinus infection, so Sarah being a pharmacist gives me an antibiotic….I had no idea I was allergic to. I break out in hives and start to have trouble breathing. I’m laughing because it’s all so surreal and she’s stressing so much and thinking I need to go to hospital.
She gave me some antihistamines and I went back to normal, but her response was just amazing. I saw her love for me, and I knew I wouldn’t find anyone who had my back as much as she did. So we settled back down and went back to eating dinner, and I just popped a ring out and asked her in a moment of bravery and asked her if she wanted to be “my idiot” and if she wanted me to be hers. Also I figured if I didn’t ask her, she now knew that she could kill me with a tablet readily available in pharmacies that costs 20 cents. Better safe than sorry, lads.
We had a BBQ at our place and invited all our friends and family. Nothing too big, we just wanted an opportunity to have everyone meet and celebrate them for their support of us.
What did you love most about wedding planning?
Tasting the food. That has to be top of the list. You’ve got to taste the things you want to eat, and drink the beers and wines that will be on your list. In the name of research, you owe it to yourself.
Our process was really strict as well. We knew what areas in which we wanted to spend money and where we knew we could be a bit cheaper. It was a lot of fun meeting the celebrant and photographer and being able to choose people that we knew matched as a team and were the most rad people we could find.
What things stressed you out most?
I have quite serious depression and anxiety, so the whole process was unbelievably straining on my mental health. That being said, the way Sarah and I organised and planned it we couldn’t have made it any easier on ourselves.
We felt the main stressors for other couples were a lack of appropriate time prior to the wedding and a fear of the day not being perfect. So to combat that we started planning 18 months out from the day and made sure that even the fine details were set in stone four months out from the event. We both had full-time uni study, so making sure everything was organised so early took the pressure off us having to make last second decisions.
But the best advice we got was “stuff everyone else, the day is yours so make it so”. We were pulled in many directions to do things other couples had done, or to do things in certain, traditional ways, or to include people that we would have preferred were not included. What we kept coming back to what the advice to make the day ours, and not what other people wanted or expected. In the end, even though some things did not go to plan, we didn’t care because we had the day we wanted and it wasn’t someone else’s celebration. It was ours.
The two weeks beforehand though were incredibly tough. The amount of expectation from society and the media regarding how you’re meant to feel about your wife and the wedding itself and the bucks party is just the most unhelpful bullsh*t. You are under no obligation to feel a certain way or do a certain thing. The week leading up to the wedding had me feeling so panicked I thought I’d run. Which just made me feel worse. Wasn’t I supposed to be feeling all this love and encouragement? Isn’t that what the media and society was telling me, that I needed to be this picture of love and happiness?
Bottom line: your wedding is your wedding. It doesn’t belong to anyone else. Not your parents, not your bride’s parents, not your family or friends or society or whatever depiction of a movie you’ve seen. You decide how you feel and what you want. Letting your bride know this is super-important too.
Best advice to guys that are now planning their wedding?
1/ The day belongs to you and your partner. Don’t let people butt in unless their ideas match yours. It’s your wedding, not theirs
2/ If possible, spend the night before together and get ready together. It goes against convention, but it will make the whole process easier and you’ll feel a lot calmer
3/ Fork out cash for the best celebrant and photographer for you, and find the best make-up artist and stylist for your bride. Find a venue that looks good in photos (we loved Guildford Hotel, Perth). Throw money at those things, because they will last in the photos and people’s memories. Don’t throw money at expensive shoes or anything you won’t remember two weeks after the wedding.
It’s hard to choose between our celebrant Dilhari (Kiss Me You Fool) and our photographer Simone (Simone Addison Photography). Both were so talented and experienced, and were so eager to jump in and help us. They felt more like friends than people we had hired, and that made the whole process so much easier and way more fun.
I didn’t have a best man. My two groomsmen were my brothers, and how am I going to pick between them? Tom is all about having a good time and having a few drinks and being a lad, while Mike is really serious and organised and loves a good plan. Both of them really evened out the planning and experience and I felt a good balance of support.
We went and played a round of golf, then went to a German brewery and had some food and beer before going to a sketchy local pub when we were well on our way. Although it was really low key, I couldn’t have asked for a more relaxing and fun time.
What did you and the boys do on the morning of your wedding?
They had their own stuff to organise and I was getting ready with my bride anyway, so I went for a workout then got home and showered before they arrived at midday, then we all got ready together.
I’m a huge nerd, so I gifted them some Star Wars cufflinks to wear on the day, as well as some socks with pineapples on them and suspenders to wear.
Both of us are finishing up our study so no honeymoon immediately after, but I am hoping to plan a secret camping trip to New Zealand in the next six months.
Although I’ve already mentioned it before, but organising the whole thing based around what we wanted was what took a lot of the pressure off the day. We wrote our own vows, we walked down the aisle together, we organised every single little detail of the room, we tasted every wine and beer and every food item, we covered every single base. We did it all to what WE wanted, not to what anyone else expected or wanted. We even had a lot of pushback from Sarah’s dad in the months leading up to the day, so we rescinded his invitation, and in hindsight that, and everything else we did for us, was a good decision. We made our day about what we wanted and our happiness and asked everyone attending to just let their hair down and allow us to celebrate them being there.
The more we made it what we wanted, the more pressure we felt to give in to the ‘things’ you’re expected to do, like the father of the bride “give away” his daughter, or the bride walking to her groom, or having a wedding cake, or using the traditional vows, or anything that you’ve seen done thousands of times before. But as we felt pushback from people who were not happy with what we were planning, the more confident we felt that it was for us.
So although it’s a little piece of advice, it will have wide-ranging implications for every single thing at your wedding. But that’s totally ok. It’s your day and it belongs to no-one else. So make those corny jokes in your vows, do a secret little thing for your partner during the ceremony, have that funky food item that doesn’t match the menu, do whatever you want to do. Because the day is yours to show your bride that you love her, and it’s her day to show you that she loves you.
Ben’s A Team Suppliers:
Celebrant: Kiss Me You Fool
Suits: Ferarri Menswear
Photographer: Simone Addison Photography
Catering: Guildford Hotel, Perth Western Australia