Give us the proposal details! When? Where? How?
Ash: I wanted to propose, but Ben wanted to propose more, so I satisfied myself with buying him an engagement ring and keeping it so that he also had a present. On Boxing Day last year, Ben nonchalantly suggested a hike in the Royal National Park. Lucky I packed his ring! We set off late afternoon and meandered along the cliff tops until we came to a beautiful spot that was empty of other hikers. I went to look over the edge and when I turned around, he was down on one knee, holding a little blue box. We didn’t see another person until we’d started to make our way back. It was perfect, private, and intimate. I’ll never forget how lucky I felt to be alone with Ben, enjoying our special moment.
What has been your favorite experience planning the wedding?
Destination recon! We are getting married in Orange, NSW which was one of our favorite little towns when we lived in Dubbo. We have loved going back there to meet with our vendors and enjoy country hospitality. In July, our excellent photographer, Lisa, met up with us and we had a lot of fun taking engagement photos. She has an eye for detail and she didn’t boss us around at all, she just spent a lot of time removing unnecessary background objects while chatting and laughing with us.
How do you stay sane under the pressures of wedding planning?
Ben: I make Ash do all the hard work, and I only volunteer for the easy jobs. Kidding! We do everything together and we talk through the hard decisions before we commit to anything. Our venue is called Racine, and they are wonderful because they organize the ceremony and the reception, all in the one place. They are a fully functioning restaurant attached to a vineyard and they have divine food! We haven’t had to shop around with hiring each thing individually-Racine provides everything.
What is your favorite part of using Joy for your wedding?
Joy keeps all of our information in one place and the interface is user-friendly and simple, not to mention completely free! We’ve also saved money and reduced paper waste by using Joy’s online section for RSVPs!
What piece of advice would you give couples to ensure that they use Joy to its fullest potential?
Customize everything! Our wedding is non-traditional and-we were apprehensive when investigating custom-built sites because they didn’t accurately reflect our celebration. We have changed the page headings to suit our purposes nicely. For example, we don’t have a bridal party, but we wanted our guests to know who our vendors were, so we modified the bridal party page to showcase the wonderful people who are helping us build our special day.
At Joy we believe that even though a wedding lasts a day, joy lasts forever. What does that mean to you?
We will come together to take vows and celebrate our commitment in December, but we feel as though our journey as husband and wife has already begun. At the end of last year, we packed all of our possessions into a shipping container and booked flights for ourselves and Ash’s beloved reptiles. Ben had scored a new job in Darwin, NT. The challenges we have faced in moving interstate and planning a destination wedding had taught us to discuss our passions sensitively, to consult openly with one another prior to making decisions, and to be honest and kind when one of us makes a mistake. We are confident that the lessons we have learned this year will help us to overcome future problems as a team. Our wedding will be one milestone in our marriage and we look forward to the joy of adventuring together for the rest of our lives!