Sunday, September 8, 2013

My Wedding Veil Came From A Rubbish Bin!

My Dad was determined to wear his scottish
regalia. The Campbell scarf I am wearing
was intended to be worn by Mum, but was
a last minute decision. Dad had worn a kilt
to their wedding 30 years before.
A friend recently ran a wedding dress fashion parade, telling the love stories that go with the dress.

She asked me to share 500 words or is that possible!

The story of my dress starts with my veil and bodice. My Dad pulled it out of a rubbish bin one night in the early 1990's. It was really good quality veil and satin fabric in a bin outside a top dressmaker's shop in the centre of Sydney. There was no wedding in sight, but we couldn't pass up the bargain (my Dad is one of those who rummages a bin if he sees something he can recycle).

The love story started in 2001 at Australian Lutheran College in South Australia. I was that "late to start" student who got their own personal introduction. Christian noticed me.

We noticed each other after church my first Sunday in Adelaide. We chatted for some time. He offered me a ride home, but I had come with someone else, and felt I should go home with them. I joined the church choir, and then walked a few times in the hope of a ride home, I walked to church each Sunday for 8 months (under the guise of exercise)...sigh...he didn't think to offer again.

I noticed Christian in a class we had together. I occasionally left my books behind so that I could share with him. These, of course, were the few classes where he couldn't come because he was called in to work as a doctor.

In August he invited me to coffee after church, with my girlfriend and another sem student. He was then rude to my friend and "scrubbed" from the eligible list in my mind.

My father married us at Brighton Presbyterian
Church in Victoria. Our Lutheran pastor preached.
In late September I asked Christian a medical question. He said "That will be $50 thanks!" I told him it was only friendly advice and if he wanted I would buy him a coffee. He said "I'll take a rain check." And I thought I was off the hook.

In early October he rang my room and asked to cash in his "rain check". I was stuck. I didn't know how to say "no" to him. Technically, I owed him! The only time that was mutually agreeable was Friday night. We went to dinner at Kwik Sticks. I don't know what he thought, but he barely spoke all evening! When he walked me home I asked for a lift to the airport the next day.

He took me to the airport, but instead of a drop off, as I expected, he parked and walked me in. My plane was 2 HOURS late!!! He stayed!! We sat and I tried to get to know him. Conversation wasn't always easy, but it wasn't impossible. Still one line stuck in my head. He said:

"I'm nearly 30, and I've done nothing with my life!"
I thought: He's a doctor, studying theology in his "spare time"? This can only mean that he is looking for a wife, and he's looking right at me!!! Oh no! How do I get out of this!!???

The plane couldn't come fast enough!

A week or two after I came back he rang and asked if I would see a movie with him. I was stunned. Speechless! Without realising it I said yes, mostly because my brain froze and I couldn't come up with a reason to say no. What was wrong with me? It was a Friday night, we saw the least romantic movie I could come up with, which is always a good thing when you are on a date that you want to stay purely platonic.

We walked next door from the church to the rose garden for
afternoon tea, and photos.
We went for pizza afterwards in Glenelg, and then a quick walk up the jetty. Okay, this was not a good move. He started to hold my hand, and my brain again froze. How do I get out of this? So I detoured to show him the church my grandfather was minister, and firmly stuck my hands in my pockets!

We got back to his VW Golf. I just wanted to get home. But he made a move to kiss me before I got in the car. I did that "sink" move to get out of his embrace. I did like Christian, but suddenly this all freaked me out.

The next time I saw him was Sunday after church. I asked him up to the common room in my accommodation hall. There I laid it out. I remember the point I went over more than once was "we are not 'kindred spirits'". I was trying to say, and I'm sure I said it, I was NOT interested in a relationship. As I saw him out the door he asked: (in a slightly confused voice) "so can we still go out as friends?"

"Friends, yes! Nothing more."

I went back home to Mum and Dads in Melbourne for a weekend. We talked a lot about this Christian fellow. I explained that it was just too hard to be friends with him. Whilst I was away he rang and chatted to me for an hour and then invited me to Cirque du Soliel. I wanted to go, but with him? This sounded like a date! Sigh! This was an opportunity that I didn't want to pass up, and as my Melbourne friends said "who says it has to be more than friends?"
Long before I was wearing my Campbell
scarf, Christian decided to have a Campbell
hatband, as a nod to my family.

Cirque du Soliel was BRILLIANT! He held my hand. I decided I didn't mind that all too much. I also decided to be brutally honest with him. Maybe he might not be so interested. I told him that night that the girls in my dorm all laughed at the way he flicked his hair, and all thought he needed a good hair cut. I told him worse than that, but it doesn't bear publishing. He bore my criticism so beautifully. He was amazing.

But no, this couldn't go on. I didn't want to lead the poor guy on. He invited me to lunch one Sunday soon after. I was talking about my parents going to holiday in Tasmania after Christmas, and he suggested we should join them. I instantly put my foot down! "I am not THAT kind of girl!!!" He assured me that he knew I wasn't and he was thinking about separate rooms.

Tempted as I was, I told him that it just wasn't going to happen between us (again). After all, I said, I believed God wanted me to teach in Queensland. I remember his response clearly: "Well, I guess they need doctors in Queensland." I was horrified! What had I gotten myself into! He was a stalker!!

It came to a head one Sunday when he invited me to his home for lunch (actually his Dad's house). I decided I had to say "no" once and for all.

I arrived before him, and I distinctly remember seeing him as he came around to the front door from the garage. The sun shone on his hair so that he had one of those "ahh" halos that you see in adverts sometimes. He looked amazing! I mentally slapped my face and reminded myself of the task at hand.

Extra fun photos were taken at the beach houses on
Brighton Beach.
We went to the backyard and sat down, where I preceded to tell him "it's not you, it's me. No, there is nothing you can do to sort out my issues. I will not travel to Tasmania with you. We are not kindred spirits. It's not going to happen!" Poor guy. He was concerned, and clearly deeply upset. But he bore it beautifully.

Monday, next day...I took a good male friend over to speak to him (in a group), so as to "break the ice". Both my friend and I noted how chatty he was! Unusual.

Tuesday. I was behind in a few assignments, and borrowed a heap of heavy books from the library. Christian saw me, and questioned me over them as I stood holding said heavy books. Then he drew me inside the library where he added a few more heavy books to my pile that he said would help. No, he didn't help me carry them to my car. But that night, I noted to my girlfriend that I was living with that  "he's just like Mr. Darcy!" I was hooked. But how could I tell him I was wrong, when I had been so clear that there would be no relationship? That night, he dejectedly told his boss of Sunday, and she encouraged him to ask me out again, "just as friends"

He called me that night, and when he asked me to go to a movie with him "just as friends" I was stoked. I had a way to change my mind without much trouble.

All the girls dresses were different colours (a nod to
 Mum and Dad's wedding) and slightly different design.
Wednesday. We went home from choir together, I attempted to tell Christian that I was mistaken on the Sunday just past. But I wasn't sure that he got the message.

Thursday. After seeing a movie together we walked along Semaphore Beach. I finally got the courage to give him a kiss. I figured that since I had been so negative, I should jolly well make it clear I had changed my mind. When we got back to his car he gave me some wilted roses that he had picked from his garden, but was obviously too nervous to give to me.

Sunday. After watching Shrek where the main character says "I love you" right at the end, Christian told me that too. I told him that was "nice" but I wasn't prepared to say that just yet. Truth is, I somehow had this idea that if I told him I loved him he would ask me to marry him in the very next line, and I just felt that was too fast!

The day was overcast, and ready to rain...
until just before this photo!
Following Sunday, November 18th. I had decided I was well and truly in love with Christian, but that I was going to save it for Christmas. Funny! After a teary discussion, it was decided that I needed to sleep, in the process of which Christian made it clear that he intended to marry me. I couldn't help just happened! I said:

"Christian Alexander Fandrich, I love you!"

and his very next words were:

"Will you marry me?"

We were married five months later on April 5th 2002.


  1. wow, this made my day..beautiful story and beautiful pictures for a beautiful couple

  2. It was a sash my dear - and made especially for the demure princess...