Courtney and Dickson's love story began eight years ago, with fate finally bringing them together at law school after years of being in different friendship circles. As soon as they met, the adventures began and despite their long distance relationship, they knew in their bones they would make it. Dickson even admits to telling Courtney he loved her on one of their first dates.
Fast forward to now, as they are about to celebrate their fourth Wedding Anniversary, we asked Courtney and Dickson to reminisce on their special day (including a homemade milkshake bar and magical festoon lights) and share what they have leant about love.
Wedding Date: 17 November 2018
Location: Sydney, Australia.
Venue: We had our ceremony at Summer Hill Church and our reception at Gledswood Homestead & Winery.
How did you both meet?
We met around eight years ago, while we were both at law school and also volunteering as youth leaders at our church. We had actually both been part of the same church for several years (and our parents even already knew each other!) but we had previously always happened to be in different circles of friends because we were three years apart in age. After we started dating, we loved nothing more than spending time together watching sunsets on mountaintops, swimming in waterfalls and lagoons on the coast, and sharing delicious food with our loved ones. Not long after we finished our last semester at university, Dickson proposed in the most beautiful spot in the Blue Mountains during golden hour. It was pure magic.
Dickson, tell us about the moment you realised Courtney was the one you wanted to spend the rest of your life with...
You know, when I first got to know Courtney, I thought that she was way too good for me and that I wouldn't have a chance! She's kind, beautiful, so creative, fiercely intelligent, strong and gentle. I couldn't imagine doing life alongside anyone else. I think I knew she was the one from the beginning. I told her that I loved her on one of our first dates, which probably sounds a bit crazy! But hey, here we are. She calls out the best in others and our love has always had an intensity, certainty and depth to it. While we were dating, we did a year of long distance while Courtney was living and studying in Paris, and I was working here in Sydney. I think, after that year (yes, long distance is possible!), we just knew in our bones that we would make it.
Where and when did you get married - tell us a little about your day?
We got married in the spring of 2018 in a beautiful church ceremony under strings of fairy lights, florals and the sweet sounds of live acoustic music played by our friends. Our faith is really important to us and it was woven into every aspect of our day. Our ceremony was followed by lots of casual mingling around an enormous grazing table and Dickson's homemade milkshake bar. We then had an incredible shared reception feast in a vineyard south of Sydney. Our reception was originally going to be outside under festoon lights and the starry night sky, but we were moved inside due to an imminent downpour and it was just as magical a night of feasting, dancing and laughter. We planned and designed everything ourselves, with Courtney even watercolour painting and doing calligraphy for our invitations and a little motif of us in our wedding dress/suit to be printed on all of our guest's drinking cups. Everything was meaningful and filled with love and intention.
What was the highlight?
Oh, it's so hard to choose just one! In all of life, there are moments whose weight just can't be contained in words and so many moments on our wedding day were like that. Our wedding day holds one of the most sacred places in our hearts - in one day, our whole world expanded. Three years on, we would say that some of the most precious moments were the quietly earth-shattering ones - those moments where we stopped to simply take it all in, soaking in the pure joy and delight of all the people that we love most gathered in one place on that one day to celebrate us, those moments when our eyes met as Courtney walked down the aisle, those moments when we held each other as we shared our vows and had our first dance...all those moments just bursting with tenderness and thankfulness. Now, looking back, we especially treasure the immense privilege of having had our loved ones celebrate with us that day. A couple of weeks after our first wedding anniversary, we really devastatingly lost Courtney's mum after a long battle with cancer. We miss her so very much and it's never lost on us what a gift it was that she was by our side when we got married.
Tell us about your NMJ rings, what did that process look like? What drew you to Natalie Marie for your wedding pieces?
We had been following NMJ for a few years and loved the craftsmanship, aesthetic and meaning behind the brand. It's been amazing to watch the growth of NMJ in the years that have followed since we got engaged and married. We were lucky enough to have a bespoke consultation with Natalie herself and she was so kind, generous and helpful to us as we thought through what we wanted to choose for our wedding pieces. We ended up choosing two rings from NMJ's ceremonial collection - the Half Queenie (Yellow Gold with White Diamonds) for Courtney and the Classic Square Ring (Matte 18ct Rose Gold) for Dickson. The Half Queenie pairs especially beautifully with Courtney's bespoke engagement ring, which is a stunning oval solitaire moissanite in a tulip setting on a fine yellow gold band. We wear our rings every single day and they are laced with so much meaning, memory and promise. We always receive so many compliments on our rings and they encapsulate our style and our values perfectly.
At NMJ, at the heart of everything we do is love. Tough question, but tell us, what do you know about love?
Love is so much more than a feeling. Love is choosing each other over and over again, even when it's hard and even when it's inconvenient or painful. Love is coming home - where there is nothing to earn, nothing to fear and nothing to prove. For us, our understanding of love is profoundly shaped by God's love for us. Love is more than we could ever hope or dream of. We'll spend the rest of our lives being so completely floored, healed and transformed by the power of true, unconditional love. We hope you will too.