Bride: Belinda Joy Hudgson
Groom: Shaun Steenkamp
Date: November 21, 2015
The proposal: On a Saturday morning in the middle of winter, Shaun told me he wanted to go to the National Gallery of Victoria. I thought it was a rather strange request but I didn’t mind and agreed. As we walked toward the gallery, I suggested we first go and visit “our fountain” (the Walker Fountain in Domain Gardens) which Shaun later said he was relying on me to do. This fountain is a special place for us as we used to live close by and loved to visit it on our way home from work.
I love to get up onto the edge of the fountain and, as I made my way around, Shaun lifted me off and turned me round to face him. I was about to protest when I noticed he went down on one knee and asked me to marry him. He presented me with the most beautiful gold solitaire diamond ring that he’d had made specially for me at Temelli Jewellers in Collins Street. I was so excited and happy and said yes straight away. He then picked me up and swung me round, and as he did so it suddenly began to pour with rain! It was so romantic and such a special memory.
The wedding day: Shaun and I were married at St Mark’s Church in Golden Square at 3 o’clock in the afternoon, with a reception held afterwards at the Boardwalk. It was the perfect spring day with sunshine and blue skies.
I got ready at my childhood home helped by my mother and my three younger sisters Chloe, Larissa and Alison, who were my amazing bridesmaids. It was a very fun and surprisingly relaxing morning, spent having our hair and make-up done, and drinking cups of tea.
We drove to the church in 1950s black and white Chevrolets, where the boys were waiting anxiously inside. I walked up the aisle with my father to Flower of Scotland played on the bagpipes, which was something I had always dreamt of. It was so amazing to see everyone who was so special to us there to celebrate our special day.
After the ceremony we had photos taken while the guests made their way to the Boardwalk for canapés and drinks by the lake. We arrived later and I was so excited to see the venue decorated in our beautiful green and white floral theme. I was also incredibly relieved to see that the huge cake my mother and I had spent so many hours on had made it in one piece, and on display in pride of place.
After dinner and speeches, I got changed into a white ballroom costume dress for our wedding dance. Shaun had joined me at my ballroom dancing classes for the previous six months to learn a bridal dance to Love Changes Everything. Our dance was everything I’d dreamed it would be, especially when I ran across the floor and leapt into Shaun’s arms above his head - it was amazing.
The dress: My ballgown style ivory dress was designed by Demitrios. It had a beaded bodice, V-neck halter with corset back and dropped waist. The skirt featured layers of ruffled organza with flowers, which was draped to show an underlay of hand-embroidered lace. A ruched organza train completed my dream dress.
I was extremely lucky to have my talented sister Chloe hand make my veil to match the unique shape of the train, and hand sew the entire edge with Swarovski crystal beads.
The cake: The cake was made and decorated by my mother and I, and was such a big part of the wedding. I had always dreamt of having a cake that was two things - very big, and in the shape of a pyramid. It certainly forced me to brush up on my trigonometry and I wouldn’t want to know the number of Excel spreadsheets I sent to mum with various calculations of measurements and ingredients.
It was certainly a challenge but in the end the cake was everything I had dreamt it would be. The bottom layer was dark chocolate mud, the middle two were fruit, and the top was a recipe specifically used for intricate shapes, and used a mold custom made in the United Kingdom.
It was iced with white fondant, featuring a delicate dot design, with green and white hydrangea, baby’s breath and carnations between all the layers.
The photographer: Jamie Harrison Photography
The honeymoon: South Island, New Zealand