Fowles Wedding – Killeen Station Longwood
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Take my hand and dance with me | Rob + Nicky’s Adventures So Far
On tyre tubes in a Guatemalan river, a confident young English woman with long blonde hair met an energetic Australian bloke with pale blue eyes as clear as crystal. She was travelling north after a hospital placement in Costa Rica as part of her medical degree, he was travelling south accompanied by his brother Stu and friends. Days were spent discussing life’s adventures, rescuing her flip flops, admiring her Spanish skills and how incredibly a bikini clung to her body. Being slightly unkempt with wild sandy coloured hair only reeled her in more as he began impressing her with his solid core values and uncanny ability for spotting wildlife from a mile away. During the rise and fall of two Central American sunsets, the free spirits talked well into the dark about their beliefs that life was for exploring this earth and enjoying whatever time we have. As he took the steps onto his next bus she fought the urge to hug him, awkwardly they said their goodbyes. A wave of sadness washed over her, she realised now that something was missing that she hadn’t felt before.
Always willing to put on a smile and get on with whatever needs doing she continued on her adventure and hoped they would again cross paths. Accepting she was under the influence of his charms, she returned to England and eagerly awaited the day she could skip lectures to catch up with Rob and his brothers for a quick drink as they passed through on their next leg. He hadn’t quite been able to shake the memory of her and was keen to see her again. She was even more stunning than he had remembered. Climbing in Gloucester, finally unescorted, they began entertaining the idea of being more than friends. Like most men, the way to his heart was also through his stomach, and although they might not recognise it for another year, she sealed their fate with a little box of sausage rolls for his airport trip to head home.
They both realised that a relationship from opposite sides of the globe was ridiculous. But neither of them could seem to let go and so over the next year they kept in touch online. Back in the UK she attempted to stay focused on her studies during her final year of medicine. Time and time again she assessed if her heart fluttering with each message was proving to be too much of a distraction. While his heart and mind would spend hours pondering the notion of if it was certifiably crazy to fall in love with someone living on the other side of the world.
During that year of Facebook messages and Skype chats, they each planned a trip to South East Asia. They met in Thailand and together they explored Cambodia and Vietnam before she had to return for her graduation. Even with untamed bed hair her breathtakingly raw beauty and undeniable spirit to get out there and live life to the fullest captured his imagination and sparked a fire in him that could not be extinguished. So after six months of hard work to get a visa and job in the UK, Rob landed in Dorset, two hours from Nicky. It wasn’t ideal but it was the closest so far and he would be content with that until she was able to travel with him to his home state of Victoria in Australia. Finding it more difficult than they had hoped for Nicky to get work in Victoria, they did what they always do when faced with adversity, they went travelling! Six weeks of driving, walking and cycling the Outer Hebrides of Scotland cemented the thrill of experiences they could enjoy together when outside of their comfort zones.
No time for sitting still together they zig-zagged through wondrous landscapes sharing many more adventures from scuba diving with hammerhead sharks to climbing 6000m mountains with some interesting canoe trips in between. It was on a balcony of a slightly dodgy hotel in Borneo in June 2014, overlooking the foothills of Mount Kinabalu that the usually fearless Rob developed a case of sweaty palms. One hand fumbled in his pocket for the pearl ring he bought at the market earlier that week, a bunch of freshly picked hibiscus flowers in the other. With another sweeping picture perfect vista before them he looked into Nicky’s sincere green eyes and asked his best mate, travel buddy and lover to walk by his side always until they grew old. Initially shocked, she paused momentarily, unfortunately only adding to his anxiety. On reflection she could not understand why he was so nervous, it was only her standing before him and he had to know she would say yes. He had everything she could hope for in her future, a long string of hugs and kisses for no reason, a gentle hand hold, occasional funny dances whilst singing one of his incomparable made up songs and endless cups of tea. Not to mention many moments of shared solitude admiring the views, while he tells her “Life’s not too bad is it?”.
In the Strathbogie Ranges, North East Victoria they chose to celebrate their two families becoming unified through their marriage. Nicky a Doctor and Rob a Vet are both trained to stay cool and calm under pressure, November 7th 2015 would be no exception. Squally morning winds amidst clear blue skies did not dampen their spirits as they serenely carried on with the mornings activities surrounded by family and friends from the world over. Nicky’s quintessential grace and contagious smile saw the room light up whenever she walked in. With every glance in Nicky’s direction flower girl Emily’s eyes lit up as she watched her aunt as if she was a princess in a real life fairy-tale. Meanwhile Rob, his brothers, parents and friends prepared the family farm.
Under the mid afternoon sun, nestled by a giant cluster of Strathbogie rocks, Rob’s eldest brother Jimmy read a passage from Oriah Mountain Dreamer’s book “The Dance” with such strength and conviction that not a dry eye was to be seen.
Take me to the places on the earth that teach you how to dance, the places where you can risk letting the world break your heart.
And I will take you to the places where the earth beneath my feet and the stars overhead make my heart whole again and again.
Show me how you take care of business without letting business determine who you are.
When the children are fed but still the voices within and around us shout that soul’s desires have too high a price, let us remind each other that it is never about the money.
Show me how you offer to your people and the world the stories and the songs you want our children’s children to remember.
And I will show you how I struggle not to change the world, but to love it.
Sit beside me in long moments of shared solitude, knowing both our absolute aloneness and our undeniable belonging.
Dance with me in the silence and in the sound of small daily words, holding neither against me at the end of the day.
And when the sound of all the declarations of our sincerest intentions has died away on the wind, dance with me in the infinite pause
before the next great inhale of the breath that is breathing us all into being, not filling the emptiness from the outside or from within.
Don’t say, “Yes!” (Except today!)
Just take my hand and dance with me.
Together they do not need to conform, they accept each other for who they are, without judgement so they can be just be, entwined immeasurably for now and always until their bodies become too frail for any more adventures.
A message from Nicky + Rob to follow after these images:
A thanks message from Rob + Nicky :
There are a lot of family that need thanking! We had a lot of help. Thank you to Harold and Annette Cocking (dad and mum) for the use of your house and farm. The many weeks of preparation really showed. Annette, thank you for all your hard work in your beautiful garden and for the delicious afternoon tea (with contributions from Denise Cocking, Claire Lowe, Jess McArdle and Laura Thorbecke). Also thank you to Nick Fenner (dad) and Stef Marks for their car cleaning abilities! Jimmy, Stu and Steve Cocking for their help setting up, Rob Willis and Cam Rae, groomsmen and self declared professional wedding helpers. Linda Fenner for her food finding abilities pre ceremony and Gemma Gurney for her calming influence. Also the MCs, Simon Marks and Steve Cocking, for their entertaining double act. Emily for being a fantastic flower girl and Sarah Binstead for getting said flower girl down the aisle! Not to mention all our wonderful friends and family who made a tremendous effort to be with us to celebrate our big day. We love you all!
Thanks to all the following wedding service providers who helped us along the way!
Wedding Photography by Mister+Lady
Brides Dress by Luv Bridal
Hair Styling by Wisteria Cottage
Make Up Artist Makeup Design By Dee
Wedding Flowers by Pure Design Flower Studio
Shoes by Merchant
Accommodation Euroa Butter Factory
Suit and suspenders by Roger David
Celebrant – Kate O’Toole – Glenmaggie – Gippsland
Rings Blizzards Shepparton
Cake Claire Lowe
Invites Optimal Print