We met while getting ready for a surf at a break in our home town of Barwon Heads. I remember being amazed at how well Tom surfed, and hearing his endless travel stories of chasing swells around the world.
We surfed together that afternoon for five hours until the sun was well and truly gone and our arms were too tired to keep going.
Tom told me that on the day we met he had instantly fallen for my glamorous sunnies and curly hair.
Fast forward four years and Tom proposed to me with a very special custom takayama DT pig surfboard instead of a diamond, knowing that my true loves – including surfing, the ocean and adventure – could never be represented by a diamond.
Five months later we got married. It was a no-brainer that we would host our wedding on the beach in Barwon Heads (and hire kombis as homage to my dead kombi which toured me around Australia on many adventures). We both adore living in Barwon Heads and all that this special place and community have given to us. We made every effort to use and support local and adopted it as our wedding theme. As a neurologist, it was also a privilege that two of my patients collaborated to create my wedding bouquet and flower crowns.
We started in the dark early hours of the morning with the main event of the day – a group surf session with our whole tribe of friends and family. A month before the wedding we sent a special prayer to Huey (the god of surfing) asking for perfect surf conditions and he delivered with the most pristine long peeling waves and a gorgeous sunrise. I think this was the most fun I have ever had in my life – surfing side by side with all my favourite people surrounding me in the water. Everyone surfing was in such a good mood we spent the morning catching endless party waves and attempting to tandem surf together. As the bride and groom, everyone let us have the best waves.
Following the surf, we had the fastest preparation ever. It felt surreal going from salty curly surfer hair to stunning perfect bride hair in an hour. We had spent so much time surfing that everything was running very late. I had planned to have our beach ceremony set up and all ready and perfect before our guests attended so they could be blown away at how amazing it looked. But despite meticulous pre-planning our guests had to wait for almost an hour before anyone from the bridal party arrived, and all the planning fell to pieces. Our incredible friends and family had to set up the ceremony themselves. They put it together as best they could and none of it went to plan, but it was a reflection of how much they loved us and how lucky we are to have them in our lives. I feel the haphazard throw together they pulled off was so sweet and so much better than perfect styling anyway.
We said our personal vows on the beach and concluded the ceremony ringing Buddhist bells collected from our travels. Buddhists believe that bells help keep bad spirits away and can also call on good spirits or in our own words: bring the good vibes and keep away the bad vibes. We could not be more stoked on how epic, fun and love filled our special day was and how much it reflected who we are.
This story appeared in issue #15, Travel Play Live magazine. Read the full digital back issue here.