Engagement Party at the Beach

Last Saturday was one of the most wonderful days I can remember.  It was full of stress, anxiety, excitement, smiling, dancing and love… sounds good yeah? Saturday the 24th of March was the date of Mark’s and my engagement party.  Since I got back from Canada Mum and I have been organising it, writing lists, making invitations, choosing the venue, hiring decorations and organising food.  I thought we had it pretty well covered, and then Friday arrived.  I had to take the day off uni to help with the shopping (of course I thought it was a great idea to make our own food) and then we drove down to Coledale Beach (of course I thought it was a great idea to use a venue an hour away from our house) and then decorate (again, of course I thought it was a great idea to use paper lanterns, shells and sand).  Much preparation went in and luckily we had some wonderful friends and family to help.  Our venue was awesome.  Coledale Surf Club, right on the beach.

You can't get much more beachfront than Coledale Surf Club
Hanging lanterns for our beach theme

It pays to have talented friends and family.  Mark’s sister Sarah is a fantastic hair dresser and managed to turn the usually straight lengths on my head into something much more lovely.  My friend Claire is training to be a make-up artist and managed to hide the tiredness and stress etched into my face with many layers of complicated-sounding make-up.  I am not someone who likes a lot of stuff on my face, but however she managed to do it, I looked pretty but felt like I was wearing nothing but a smile all night.

Being made up

So the preparation was slightly stressful, but my magic Mum managed to get all the salads and dips made while I was setting up tents (we hired campsites we could sleep after the party).  When I arrived at the party every had come together.  This was a continuing theme throughout the night – magic family and friend fairies seemed to make things happen while I was having a wonderful time.  For example I don’t know who lit the candles, but it certainly finished off the lovely centrepiece I’d been working on.

Pretty centerpieces
Claire and I

The view from the Surf Club was an amazing.  It had been windy all day, but dropped to a gentle breeze just for the party.  Also, I loved my dress.  It was from Forever New and incredibly fun to way.  In my view, a dress has to pass the spin test, be able to be sat down in and danced in.  This dress passed with flying colours.

Mum and I in front of the wishing well
David, mum and I smiling away

I asked my Dad to make us a wishing well for the party, because Mark I don’t live together yet and would be pushed for space with presents.  My Dad doesn’t do things half way – this wishing well has a working handle and is weather-ready.  I am so excited to decorate it in the garden and wind the handle, if I could put it over an actual well I could retrieve water!

Uni friends!

In Canada, Mark and I both turned 21 and got engaged, so this party was like a 21st, coming-home and engagement all in one.  Our family is spread across Australia, and for the last few years our friends have been exploring the world, so to all be under the same roof for a night was really wonderful.

Friends on the balcony

It’s funny how you don’t realise how much you have missed people until you see them again.  My old school friends have all been travelling or living overseas, and we haven’t seen each other for over a year.  It wasn’t until we were all on the dance floor singing to something

Old friends on the floor

While the sun was up we enjoyed chatting on the balcony, and once Mark and I got out there, everyone thought it would be a nice idea to take a photo.

Aw
Thumbs up in Canada nostalgia
David and I on the balcony
Candice, me,Hannah and Steph
Brooke and David
chatting outside
sun going down

Once the sun went down, the party inside started.  We started on our fridge of alcohol that Dad was worried would be too much, but ended up just enough – people can drink!

Our alcohol for the night

Dinner, if I may say so myself, was awesome.  We had 3 different meats from Discount Party Hire and Mum made our special strawberry and walnut salad.  Claire and I made pumpkin and spinach risotto and put it in little chinese take-away boxes so people could take an individual serve.  Honestly, I was too excited to eat very much, but it was good.  It was funny, because Mum and I made the menu to our taste, but were both to busy and excited to really eat anyway!

Dinner was delicious
Family at the table
Mum and Barry

After dinner our awesome and talented friend Cam played some awesome music.  His music got a lot of people dancing and everyone smiling.

If this picture had audio you would be even more impressed
Dancing the night away

We danced with enthusiasm with the most uninhibited of moves – some more stylish than others.

David enjoying a dance
Little Ella getting her groove on
Dancing on a bumpy road
Dancing to Thriller
Cutting the cake

Mark and I cut the cake, and man it tasted good.  Mark and I don’t like fruit cake and white chocolate mudcake would be a way better wedding cake, and we have this little joke that when we found the perfect white chocolate mudcake we would get married.  I don’t know if it’s the perfect one, but the cake from Cake Biz is pretty damn amazing and definitely worthy of our engagement cake.  For dessert Mark’s Dad made some amazing cheesecakes – so good that I’m sure they ruined a few diets for the night.  Mark and I don’t usually dance, but we managed to pluck up the co-ordination to swing around to Cam’s rendition of Piano Man.

Dancing to Piano Man
Mark danced with me 🙂

Our engagement party was beyond wonderful.  It was so lovely to celebrate something so happy with the people we love.  I know a blog is probably not the most appropriate place to thank people, and the message probably won’t reach the people it is for, but the party was so amazing because of people.  My Mum put in a huge amount of time and effort, as did my Dad, and the help we received from Mark’s parents, my Grandparents, the talented people who made us pretty, other members of my family who helped with food and everyone who came with a smile on their face.  we also got some wonderfully thoughtful presents and generous contributions to our wishing well.  Thank you everyone 🙂

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