A+M Get Married; Part 4

So if there is one thing Morgan and I love more than anything, it’s not just a party, but a party with our nearest and dearest and what better excuse to have the biggest most extraordinary party of your life – than at your wedding?

The reception was big for us and there was one theme that we said was our biggest priority to our planners and one theme only and that was – DANCING (and of course, fun!)

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Wanting to not waste a minute as party with our guests for as long as we could – you only get one night after all right – we gave ourselves one hour for photos, yep, ONE hour, so we figured if we didn’t get the shots, too bad, we’d remember the day and night through our video and memories anyway. The party and love and being amongst all of our nearest and dearest was our biggest priority (the good news is we still got the shots in the 1 hour!).

Coming back from photos we were announced in to the reception (our divine bridal party first of course) with a song we both loved since we were kids….‘Space Jam – let’s get ready to rumble song’. To refresh your memory and to prove it’s worthiness of a bridal announcement song the lyrics go;

Ladies and Gentleman, introducing the main event…. 

LET’S GET READY TO RUMBLEEEEEEEEEE. 

Cue epic, epic, tunes

I know, I know, best song choice ever.

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Food and booze were served and one thing I will say about a Bali wedding is the service can’t be faltered. As you finished your champagne or cocktail, the waiters had the next one at your table ready to be served.

One of the highlights of a wedding for me is always; the speeches, and our day was no different, when I think back on the day or namely, the reception, I DO remember the fireworks, the dancing and the FUN (my god the fun) but I remember the tears and laughter from the words shared from those who amazingly gave a speech. We had my mum Jenny, Morgans dad Aronn, the best man Joff, and both Morgan AND I did (I was never going to be the bride who sat silently at her wedding!) What I will share from the speeches was a quote I finished on by Steve Maraboli called Soul mates, a quote that when I first stumbled upon it years and years ago, I knew it was the words I would read to Morgan on our wedding night …

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When we are born, the soul we are given is split apart and half of it is given to someone else. Throughout our lives, we search for the person with the other half of our soul. Very few ever succeed. 

I am blessed that we have met. In a sudden moment, warm within your loving glare, my soul said, “At last! I can rest. I have fond my missing half” 

When this happens, it is said we have found our soul mate. We are happy and at peace. When we shared ourselves, we were engulfed in eternity, dancing in a timeless universe. I am truly blessed because that day, my heart recognized you as part of its own. 

Thank you for blessing ME with YOU. Thank you for dreaming with me. For seeing the same future as I do. For your beautiful eyes, soul and essence, reminding me of the truest bliss in life. I am forever grateful for you. 

I will spend an eternity loving you, caring for you, respecting you, showing you every day that I hold you as high as the stars. 

We were called up to cut the cake with all eyes on us and I remember looking at Morgan and saying “none of this feels real it truly is a fairytale”. Our first dance immediately followed our cake cutting and we floated across the dance floor to “Sam Smith – Latch (Acoustic)” – when we both heard the song sitting at home one night we looked at each other and BOTH said – “this is it!” With lyrics like the following though how could we not have?

You lift my heart up when the rest of me is down

You, you enchant me even when you’re not around

If there are boundaries, I will try to knock them down

I’m latching on, babe, now I know what I have found

Now I’ve got you in my space

I won’t let go of you

Got you shackled in my embrace

I’m latching on to you

I’m so en-captured, got me wrapped up in your touch

Feel so enamored, hold me tight within your clutch

How do you do it? You got me losing every breath

What did you give me to make my heart bleed out my chest

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Morgan and I didn’t feel we wanted to go to dance rehearsals or practice how we’d dance on the night, we love to have fun, and we always love to be in each others embrace so we knew whatever came out on the night would be ok, and I have to say, watching back the wedding video, the dance was some of my most intimate memories of he & I that day and night.

As soon as our song had finished and ALL of our guests were on the dance floor (encouraged by our wedding planners knowing what was coming next) all the lights and music were cut out like we had a “black out” for guests to think ‘oh no’ … but within seconds, the first BOOM went off and the fireworks were lighting up the sky. I remember the squeals and screams and woo’s from the guests and writing this out I have tears again as all the feelings flood back.

The rest of the night felt like it went on forever in the best way possible.

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We danced, we drank our signature cocktails and champagne and we laughed – but my god did we dance, and dance, and dance. Morgan & I’s main goal of the whole night once all the formalities were over as I said, was to have everyone on the dancefloor, and I remember our wedding planning stealing us away, telling us to turn back around to take it all in, and I started squealing with joy as I realized every single guests was on the dance floor dancing their heart out.

And the rest, as they say .. is history. Between the dancing, and the laughter and the hugs and the .. dancing – we literally had the time of our lives, the best party of our lives and the best night of our lives.

I want to leave our wedding series with some words we wrote to our beautiful wedding celebrant when she asked us two questions that we absolutely loved talking about together then writing together – and they were ‘What the relationship and marriage means to us” and “what are our hopes for the future together”

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I believe there is nothing stronger or more bonding than the written word, so I share this with you today to be held accountable to a love that I know will last the ages, and every life thereafter…

To Love…

What the relationship & marriage means to you? 

A marriage to us, is the highest form of commitment to each other, a binding of forever and infinite love in which two people hold space for one another, to grow, heal, learn, laugh, love unconditionally  

Marriage is when two come together and invite the highest good to be revealed through them and in them, so that together they can powerfully serve the world more love and light.  

What your hopes are for the future together? 

To grow more and more in love as each year passes. To have a marriage built on a foundation of love, trust, fun and adventure and for all of those areas to only strengthen and develop as we grow old together. To keep a home that is full of love and safety. To raise our children to know true love. To be each others best friends right till the end. And to grow old and grey surrounded by children and grandchildren and family who all have an abundance of love and happiness.  

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A+M Get Married: The Ceremony (Part 3)

Since I was a little girl, I had never grown up dreaming about my dream wedding. I had never expected to be a certain way and I certainly had never ever given a thought, not one, to what the day would look like – whether it would be in a church, or outside, whether I would be in a princess dress or figure hugging, so when Morgan got down on one knee and asked me the sacred question, we literally had a blank canvas of ideas and possibilities to work with because I truly had no vision for the day.

It very fast became apparent to us though that the main focus was to be about love and that our ceremony had to mirror us completely. We needed a celebrant who we connected with, who got ‘us’ and who brought our vision to life; a ceremony of deep love, one that would be incredibly intimate but have our personalities show through. We found our perfect match in Tracey from ‘Bali Bliss Celebrant’ and from day 1 knew she would make the ceremony what we wanted it to be.

I remember sitting with Morgan going over our ceremony questions from Tracy laughing as we recalled the first time we met, getting emotional as we wrote out our own definitions of the meaning of marriage and then combining them both, and going our separate ways to quietly reflect and write our own vows.

Admittedly, we wrote our vows the week before we got married and we both said they were the easiest and most natural words we had ever written. I think true love, a strong foundational love, you know each other as well as you know yourself and we both knew exactly what it would take to grow old together falling more in love as each year passed and what promises we would have to make for it to work.

If I had to sum up our ceremony in words it was; pure love, fun, emotional and divine. It was fate.

We got to write our extraordinary love story that day and I won’t ever forget every tear, every laugh and every word spoken.

From start to finish this is how our love story went.

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Walking down the aisle

I was calm. So calm. There wasn’t one moment from the lead up to the day of to the song starting that I wasn’t blissfully calm. I remember just being so excited that in a few short minutes I would get to see my Morgan again after not having seen him for a night and day and that in an hour, I would be his wife. The girls and I were lined up and the music started, my bridesmaids and I had different songs, each song equally as important as the other. Every single part of our wedding was personal, right down to the decisions around the song choices.

Kissing you by Des’ree started and one by one off my girls went before me. Kissing you held so much significance to me for a multitude of reasons, it was the song of Romeo and Juliet, one of my favourite movies of all time and the two shared a love so strong they would die rather than live without the other, so I always knew I needed the song a part of my day. Lyrically, I was also madly in love with the song –

But when it was my time to take the aisle there was no other option to me than A thousand years by Christina Perri. Hearing the first note of that song was overwhelming for me. This was it. Even now, 6 months on, hearing that song still makes me overcome with emotion and makes me tear up and I think it always will. I knew the song was for me when I heard the lyrics “I have died every day waiting for you, darling don’t be afraid I adore you, I’ve loved you for a thousand years, I’ve loved you for a thousand more”. As you will see when later amongst these words when I share some of our speeches, I truly deeply madly believe that Morgan & I are twin flames, and fate was never going to keep us apart.

I’ll never forget locking eyes with Morgan. Ever. And have never wanted to get to him more. I remember not even remembering the crowd, our beautiful guests, and from the top of the aisle right to arriving at my groom, we never once took our eyes off each other. This was our day and honouring each other in every second was our goal.

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The Readings

I think this was simultaneously the hardest part about in the co-creation of the ceremony with Tracy whilst being the easiest part as well. The hardest because we needed readings that spoke to us which meant going through hundreds and thousands of words to find the ones that spoke to us most– we aren’t religious people, our ‘religion’ is love and kindess, so we knew the readings would be centered around poems, quotes or passages from books we loved.

We landed upon 3 – and each time I found them right beside Morgan we knew they were the one when Morgan tenderly would kiss me and say ‘this is it’ and I would be sitting there sobbing (not just some dainty tears, literally sobbing).

We chose 2 of my brothers to do a reading, one of our longest and oldest friends Belinda, and a friend who is a brother to us both, Ben. We are both so deeply grateful for all they do in our life and we knew we wanted them a part of our day in this special way.

The Readings we chose were:

That my two older brothers Zac & Tim read:

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Marriage Joins Two People in the Circle of Its Love – Edmund O’Neill

Marriage is a commitment to life, the best that two people can find and bring out in each other. It offers opportunities for sharing and growth that no other relationship can equal. It is a physical and an emotional joining that is promised for a lifetime.

Within the circle of its love, marriage encompasses all of life’s most important relationships. A wife and husband are each other’s best friend, confidant, lover, teacher, listener and critic. And there may come times when one partner is heartbroken or ailing, and the love of the other may resemble the tender caring of a parent for a child. Marriage deepens and enriches every facet of life.

Happiness is fuller, memories are fresher, commitment is stronger, even anger is felt more strongly and passes away more quickly. Marriage understands and forgives the mistakes life is unable to avoid. It encourages and nurtures new life, new experiences and new ways of expressing a love that is deeper than life. When two people pledge their love and care for each other in marriage, they create a spirit unique unto themselves, which binds them closer than any spoken or written words. Marriage is a promise, a potential made in the hearts of two people who love each other and takes a lifetime to fulfill

That one of our best friends Ben Kelly read:

Psst – there is still something about these words that when I read them I cry. Not a well of tears in my eyes, a tears streaming down my face kind of cry. I think that is the kind of emotion you want your readings to evoke months and years after your wedding.

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I will be here – Steven Chapman

In the morning when you wake, If the sun does not appear – I will be here. If in the dark we lose sight of love, Hold my hand and have no fear, I will be here. I will be here, when you feel like being quiet. When you need to speak your mind, I will listen. Through the winning, losing and trying, we’ll be together, And I will be here. In the morning when you wake, if the future is unclear, I will be here, As sure as the seasons were made for change, Our lifetimes were made for years. I will be here. You can cry on my shoulder. And I will be here. When the mirror tells us we’re older, I will hold you to watch you grow in beauty and tell you all the things you are to me. We’ll be together and I will be here. I will be true to the promises I’ve made to you. I will be here. That one of our longest and most treasured friends Belinda Rae read:

That one of our longest, most amazing friends Belinda Rae read: 

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The Promise – Heather Berry

Within this blessed union of souls, where two hearts intertwine to become one, there lies a promise. Perfectly born, divinely created, and intimately shared, it is a place where the hope and majesty of beginnings reside. Where all things are made possible by the astounding love shared by two spirits. As you hold each other’s hands in this promise, and eagerly look into the future in each other’s eyes, may your unconditional love and devotion take you to places where you’ve both only dreamed. Where you’ll dwell for a lifetime of happiness, sheltered in the warmth of each other’s arms”

The Vows

By far the easiest part of the whole wedding. Morgan & I didn’t write out our vows until we were IN Bali (a week before the wedding) and went of separately to do them. Being someone who’s deepest passion is words and writing I came up with, along with Morgans kisses and blessing the first part of our vows, as we didn’t want anything in our wedding to be ‘tokenism’ – we wanted it personal and us and the best way to be personal and us was to write every aspect of the vows ourselves.

So off we went in Bali at the same time quietly at sunset to write out what we wanted to promise one another. This was the easiest part because we knew what we wanted to promise each other. I always say Morgan & I didn’t fall in to a dream relationship nor has it all been easy. We have, quiet literally, fought for our love. It’s never been ‘hard’ (core difference) but we have spent 8 years together working out who we are individually so we can grow together as a pair and we knew the promises the other needed and we needed ourselves to continue to grow this love.

The vows to us as well weren’t something we would say to say – which is why we opted to write every aspect of them. To us, they were the most important part of the whole day and are 6 months later something we are already reminding each other of weekly.

And here is what we promised each other;

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My vows to Morgan …

I call upon our family and friends  

To witness that I, Anna Ogilvie 

Take you, Morgan Richards  

as my husband for eternity.  

You Morgan, are my every reason, every hope and every dream. 

Every day that I am gifted with you is the greatest day of my life 

I love you more than any word can ever truly express  

or feeling that can be explained.  

Here today I vow to join my life eternally with yours.  

I give you my life to keep, my heart to own, and my laughter to share.  

This is what I promise you.  

I will protect you, our values and our love above all else.  

I will always stand beside you – not behind or in front of you. I stand beside you to always raise you up as an equal. 

I will practice instant forgiveness with you everyday so anger or arguments never last more than a moment.  

I promise whatever you need, strength, understanding, or laughter, I will give to you in an instant.  

I promise to make your coffee perfectly and always deliver it with a kiss.  

I promise I will always be the woman to make your head turn first when I walk in to the room and make you feel like the only man that exists to demand my love, attention and respect.  

I promise to always be your crazy dreamer and love and respect you as my realist.  

I promise to always honour and respect you as an individual whilst we grow as a pair.  

I promise to be the most extraordinary wife – I may not always cook or clean, but I will laugh with you, cry with you,make mistakes with you, fall with you and get back up with you, travel with you and I will always always be your biggest fan and cheerleader forever.  

I promise to put us first always – even when our children join us in this life. I promise that I WILL remember this and honour that the greatest gift we can give our children are two parents who are madly in love with each other and put each other first.  

I promise that I will communicate with you how I am always feeling and keep those lines of communication open until our last day.  

I promise to live an extraordinary life with you – every moment of every day and give my everything to you and this marriage.  

I will love you Morgan until our final breathe and every life we live together after.  

Morgan’s vows to Me …

I call upon our family and friends  

To witness that I, Morgan Richards  

Take you, Anna Ogilvie  

as my Wife for eternity.  

You Anna, are my every reason, every hope and every dream. 

Every day that I am gifted with you is the greatest day of my life 

I love you more than any word can ever truly express  

or feeling that can be explained.  

Here today I vow to join my life eternally with yours.  

I give you my life to keep, my heart to own, and my laughter to share.  

This is what I promise you.  

I promise i will put my heart and soul into this marriage every single day

I promise that i will be a better listener than a talker  

I promise that i will make you laugh every single day. Even if its at my own expense  

I promise to love everything about us as a couple but to also respect you and love you as an individual. 

I promise to be your biggest cheerleader, not just in the good times but also when times are tough. 

I promise to always offer you my last hot chip. Even though i know you will feel guilty for eating it and then blame me.   

I promise to always be open and honest with you and to never go to sleep angry. 

I promise that i will always be your shoulder to cry on and your fiercest protector.  

The promise to always communicate openly and honestly with you 

I promise to love you unconditionally until the day i die.   

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‘I Now prounce you Mr & Mrs Richards’

I have kissed Morgan for 10 years now. Yes… 10.Years. But I can say this from the bottom of my soul, that the kiss when we were pronounced as husband and wife and he was “now allowed to kiss his bride” was a kiss quite like no other. Not for the physicality of it – but the emotional intention behind it. This was it. Just us two. We were binded to each other officially forever and I walked back up the aisle with a new last name and with a husband, and he, with a wife.

The song we chose to walk back up the aisle to as new husband and wife was Duke Dumont, I got you. We wanted something fun and upbeat and couldn’t go past not just the tune of that song – and it so so so suited where we got married in beautiful Bali too – but lyrically it still covers me in goosebumps when I hear the song.

Ask me what I did with my life

I spent it with you

If I lose my fame and fortune

(Really don’t matter)

As long as I got you, baby

As the years they pass us by

(Years they, years they, years they)

We stay young through each other’s eyes

(Each other’s eyes)

And no matter how old we get

It’s okay, as long as I got you, baby”

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A hugely critical and key part of our day was the moment Morgs & I privately took immediately after the ceremony was over. We had told our wedding planners we wanted 10 minutes by ourselves. To just sit and soak in all that we were feeling and quietly have our first few moments as husband and wife together.

If I could ever give brides & grooms a piece of advice it is to have those precious quiet moments together straight after a ceremony. We were ushered in to an air con room and they bought Morgan a cold beer and me a glass of Verve and we had 10 minutes of private time.

Morgan & I didn’t want our guests to have to stand in a line and hug us one by one to say Congratulations either (we are not the traditional type), we knew they loved us and we wanted them to have as good a time as we were having so we did a quick group shot and then they were ushered down next to the infinity pool where cold cocktails, hot canapés and smooth tunes awaited them. The guests watched the sun set and ate and drank as we snuck off for our 1 hour of photos.

At that stage Morgan & I and our amazing bridal party crew jumped in to 2 cars to race to the beach to get some shots to eternalize our day. Although I adore photos, one thing I didn’t want was hours of photos. I know that sounds almost like an oxymoron but I trusted so implicitly the photographer would get the shots that showed off our personalities and our amazing bridal party within the hour – and I was right. We wanted to party, we wanted to be with our guests and we wanted to have the day just flow with ease so having that 1 hour limit on photos to us, made that all happen.

We were taken back to the estate for the party to start at 6pm …. But those memories will be brought to you in the next love note that brings all our memories from the party of the year to you.

Before we kick start the version of our events for the par-tay. I just wanted to leave you with this, which is our meaning of marriage that we sat and came up with heading in to not just our wedding but our marriage.

Love is everything, and our love, means this to us;

A marriage to us, is the highest form of commitment to each other, a binding of forever and infinite love in which two people hold space for one another, to grow, heal, learn, laugh, love unconditionally  

Marriage is when two come together and invite the highest good to be revealed through them and in them, so that together they can powerfully serve the world more love and light. 

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A+M get married: Emotions of the day (Part 2)

I believe, right to my core, that energy is everything and everything is energy, so not wanting any expectations put on me by anyone else or by myself, I got just that and went in to our wedding day completley expectation less. And if there was one word to describe not having any expectations of the day or put on me by others, it would be; divine. I wasn’t worried about how I was meant to be feeling, or if what I WAS feeling was normal and every moment and emotion was just met with love and calm.

And here is some of those emotions put pen to paper for you…

Morgan & I had our final moments together the night before and spoke of love and life and what marriage meant to us and more (some things are meant to remain sacred after all). He was then kicked out in to another suite on the estate and my best friend and soul sister Peta moved in to the room.

Waking up, at 5:30am, I will never forget turning to see if PK was awake to see her lying there with the biggest smile on her face who immediately started to pour love and excitement. “Can you believe TODAY is the day ” ..”its here” “the day of all days” “YOU’RE GETTING MARRIED” “MARRRIEEDDDDDD ANNA”!!!!!… we jumped around and squealed for awhile before I went out in solitude to the balcony of our room to watch the sunrise. None of it was planned. I had never intended to be up to watch the sunrise but I have to say being up for that last sunrise as a fiancé and not a wife was the most peaceful, beautiful, surreal start to my day ever.

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All the bridesmaids then joined me at our suite for some squeals and hugs and tears. We were all emotional before 6:30am and I couldn’t have loved it anymore. They left me to journal sitting in solitude on the balcony and sitting there, overlooking the ocean as the sun continued to rise is something I’ll remember for ever. It’s these moments I’ll remember amongst the hours that followed. The quiet ones, the contemplative ones.

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“Dear universe, 

Today is the day I get to marry the love of my life and my best friend and there is no feeling to describe it. I am sitting on my private balcony watching and listening to the waves crash and watching the sun rise slowly in the sky and I feel a sense of calm and bliss like never before. To me, marrying Morgan is the most natural thing in the whole world so the feelings are all centred. 

I am calm. I am totally in love. I am ready. 

Morgan has taught me the meaning of true love. That we don’t need each other, but we want each other, and that we have never been two halves to complete a whole, but rather worked on ourselves to become whole whilst being united as two. 

This morning as I sit on the ocean in the sun, full from love, I feel at peace. Like my soul has truly founds its missing half and it’s home. Today I am his, and he is mine, and it is now so for infinite eternity. 

…… (a small snippet from my journalling the morning of the wedding) 

When we were ready we made our way in to the beautiful open planned living area that was overlooking the infinity pool and ocean and had our fresh breakfast whipped up by our chef whilst the first bottles of Moet & Verve for the day were popped. I just remember laughing, lots and lots and lots of laughing and “can you believe its here” moments. At this stage the sentiment of the day was already echoed several times that “you are so CALM how are you so calm” – and I was, because as I had journalled that morning, to me, this was just the most natural thing in the whole world.

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Swimming

Once we were done with breakfast the girls moved all their things up in to my suite for the day where we would be getting ready and I went for a swim – one thing I remember about the whole day is the energy, I did whatever I was called to do in any given moment and to me I think it’s what made the whole day more relaxing, fun and calm.

At this stage, Morgan was still downstairs in the estate waiting for the boys to come, relaxing by himself – and word had gotten to me HE was a little nervous!! As soon as his groomsmen arrived the nerves seemed to disappear and they got to kick start their day with swimming and beers and relaxing too.

The rest of the day went by as any normal wedding day would. Make up, hair, boys getting ready probably 20 minutes before they had to as guys rock at getting ready way way more efficiently than girls! I remember saying to the make up artist & my beautiful girlfriend Emma who did our wedding hair, that I wanted everyone to be done by 3:30pm (ceremony was at 4:30pm) as I just wanted that hour to relax. To soak it in. To not be rushed. To just be calm and gather my energy and focus on intentions. And at 3:30pm on the dot my dress was getting zipped up and we were popping one of the last bottles of Verve before we headed out for the Ceremony.

I still get goosebumps and butterflies thinking back to that day before the ‘wedding’ officially kicked off. All those special moments with my bridesmaids, my sister, my mum and my niece. The laughter, dancing, high fives, more laughter, tears, intention setting and did I mention laughter?

One beautiful thing I will remember forever was something my best friend Peta did with me. Every hour or so she would stop me, take both my hands look me in the eye and ask me what I was feeling in that moment, and what was my intention for that moment. It could have been to feel the emotion, at one time it was to remember every second, another hour it was to soak up the memories, but it was that critical role she played, in helping me set and connect to intentions is what I believe made me so calm and more crucially, made the day go s.l.o.w. So many people said to me that “your day goes so fast you won’t know where the time has gone” but I honestly, truly had the opposite experience because my intention was for the day to go slow and to soak up every second of every minute of every hour.

You see I’m here to dispel some myths brides to be so get ready to have your world rocked.

Your day doesn’t “go by in a flash” – its as if time stands still and you can see everything in slow motion. All of it.

Your day isn’t stressful and rushed – its calm, beautiful, intentional and as divine as you intend for it to be.

You don’t have to “not get too drunk” – enjoy that champagne, toast every moment and know every sip is worth it.

And nothing goes wrong. Nothing. Your day will truly be as magical and fairytale as you imagined it to be because even tiny mishaps don’t matter when all that does is that you walk down the end of that aisle to the man you’re promising your forever to.

I will never forget Belinda, our wedding planner coming in to the suite and saying, ‘ok are you ready? It’s time to get married’ … it all still feels like slow motion, walking out with the girls, my niece and mum, lining up, keeping my Great Uncle calm – who walked me down the aisle – and laughing with the girls as they were getting ready to walk before me as my best friends and soul sisters, and then…. and then, the music started.

I still get emotional writing this now thinking about the song and feelings at that moment.

That is where this post ends though and Part 3 begins with ‘The Ceremony’ and I’ll share all the moments, photos and feelings from that sacred extraordinary part of the day.

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Make UP

 

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A+M get married: Love & intentions (Part 1)

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October 17th 2014. 17th tenth two thousand and fourteen. 17/10/14.

No matter how it’s written or pronounced, October 17th 2014 was the most magical day of my life – the day I became we and my ‘partner’ became my husband.

I sit here some months later writing this simply because it has taken me this amount of time for it to all sink in, up until now, the day still seemed like a dream – something we were separate from, out of body almost. Like we were there in a big fairytale, a part of a love story unfolding, and yet it was our love story. That love story and day feels real now. We are remembering laughs, looks, smiles, feelings and remembering they were ours – we were the ones there experiencing that.

I still have moments every few days where a song from the wedding will come on in the car and I can’t stop the tears rolling down my face, sometimes gentle sobs from total and utter feelings of love, there have been many moments people in cars beside me at the lights look at me with a look of “oh you poor thing I hope you’re ok” and I try to give them the look back, the one where I’m saying “it’s ok I’m just remembering the happiest, most beautiful, most surreal day of my life.”

I like to think if I could have bottled the feelings of love up on that day, right from the moment of waking up, to when our heads hit the pillow (& really continuing on in to the next day) and we gave those bottles of love away, no one in this big beautiful world would ever go without love ever again.

I truly mean it when I say it was that beautiful.

And here is where I think is a divine time to bring in the first part of a 7 part wedding series … WHY it was truly that beautiful and HOW we had the most beautiful day of our lives. Completely stress free. Magical. Intentional. Divine.

Before I share with you every intimate detail from the day I want to share with you something much much bigger….something much more deeply and divinely important.

Our INTENTIONS behind the ‘biggest day of our lives’

You see, before we even made the tiniest of plans relating to ANY aspect of the wedding – we set an intention not just for the wedding, but for our marriage. Something I believe many people ‘skip’ or ‘miss’ these days.

When I was a little girl, my extraordinary supermum brought me up with the belief that “although your wedding day IS the most important day of your life sweeties, please don’t ever forget the ‘forever’ after it…your marriage. Focus on your MARRIAGE, not the wedding, and the wedding will fall in to place

As a little girl I remember vividly biting back (with love), laughing, telling mum “please!!!!! My wedding is going to be so big and beautiful Australia will declare it a public holiday forever more” – I’m not even actually kidding! Clearly I was always a big dreamer!

Funny thing is, I never forgot her advice, and as I grew up and in to love, I realized she might have just been right. So when Morgan asked the most honourable question of all time “will you make me the luckiest man on earth and be my wife” … I knew from that day forward my intention and focus was to be on the marriage to come, and not the wedding.

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We talked of how we would raise our children. What values would we instill in them? What rules would we have as non negotiable in our lives? How did we commit to grow independently still continuing to grow as a couple? How would we always love and honour one another even through the shitty tough times? They were hard questions, all of which were tackled head on and with love – always.

As all of that was happening, some beautiful wedding plans started to unveil themselves. It was, as my mum said it would, happening divinely. The marriage was the focus and the wedding started to be planned around that.

Then the moment came. We flew to Bali with some of our best friends for a quick holiday knowing secretly in our hearts we had followed our hearts to a place that made us both feel happy and that was the place, on that holiday , we made the decision to marry in Bali.

The day we made the decision, we went to a beach front bar at sunset with our friends, 3 of our favourite things– the beach, friends & sunsets – and did something I believe to be most critical when about to embark on planning a wedding.

We made vows to one another of how to conduct ourselves leading in to the wedding.

Yep. Vows.

We went to the beach, as the sun was setting, and made promises to one another about our intentions for not just the wedding, but promises on how we would feel and act throughout the process – and WHY.

We vowed the process would be a stress free, happy, argument free process. We discussed this was promised because any argument in the planning process was an opposing feeling to the WHOLE point of the wedding which was…Love and togetherness.

We vowed that in the moment of stress or an argument arising, we would stop, and remember WHY in the first place we were getting married. Because we loved each other. Because we were saying we wanted each other for this lifetime (& hopefully the next). And that no matter what we would honour this promise.

We vowed that we each would play a part no matter how big or small in each decision. So it wasn’t ‘my’ day or ideas with him showing up.

*side note: at this very moment of writing this listening to music, our first dance song has just come on – latch, (acoustic version), Sam Smith – talk about tears!!

We vowed that the wedding planning process would be as beautiful and fun as the wedding itself. That every decision, dollar spent and moment surrounding the wedding would have an intention of love. Every single aspect of everything was from love, with love or involved love.

Vows before vows I hear you ask? It might sound a little odd, silly, even lame perhaps (only if you’re a guy!) .. but I know, not even think, I KNOW it was THOSE vows that made our whole wedding so divine and loved filled. The Vows we made we took very seriously, we looked at it like if we couldn’t honour these vows to one another what would that say about the vows we were going to promise to each other on the big day?

The moment was captured by said best friends – and we all had a toast to the big day that was from that day forward going to be planned.

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And so the planning began. Vows were upheld. Love was poured in to every thought, every purchase, every idea, every moment…and what eventuated is what I know to be our love soaked wedding.

The first test came with what I believe is every engaged couples test. The wedding guest list. Morgan & I’s emotion behind the whole wedding was there wasn’t to be an ounce of tokenism, so that absolutely extended to the guest list. I know some might debate us until they’re blue in the face calling us liars, but our guest list was the first easy task we tackled without so much as a hiccup of disagreement. Here is why. We discussed HOW and WHY people would be invited to the most important day of our lives. We came up with a ‘caveat’ of areas people had to ‘fit in to’ to receive an invite – they never knew this but it was our huge way of declaring how much they truly meant to us and why we truly wanted them there. The ‘caveats’ were the following;

  1. Who, in our most desperate times of need, when we were questioning our marriage or selves would we go to first to remind us of our vows we took to one another on our day. I.e. who were the ones we knew we honoured and loved the most and honoured & loved us back who would hold us accountable to our vows.
  2. Who would we want to spend our New Years with? Morgan & I are only semi superstitious (ehem; I’m super superstitious) but one of the things we both hold true is that how we bring in our new years is a reflection of the year ahead – so it’s never WHAT we do, but WHO we spend it with. So this was huge in our decision making.
  3. Who would we want to call immediately when we knew we were pregnant? Who would share in that precious gift of knowing before the rest of the world knew? (aka before facebook)

And thus the guest list was formed. The beautiful thing about it, was that there was so much love & intamicy poured in to the guest list that we had no stresses or arguments over who should come because no matter who’s side or friends ALL had to fit the caveat so it was all love.

Now. Were there moments of arguments? No. Frustration? Almost. Of course there were conversations more intense, like me trying to explain to Morgan what a bonbonairre was and how it wasn’t a waste of money and no darling we ARE meant to give gifts to our guests. But here is what happened because of our vows. I respectfully listened and loved him where he was at on that opinion and we actually came up instead with the best idea for bonbarinners ever (if I do say so myself) … I went and bought quote cards from Kiki K (which just by the way happened to be in our wedding colours! White & Gold) and on the back of every.single.one wrote to every single one of our guests individually a love soaked letter from us. What they meant to us, thanked them for being them & playing a pivotal role in our lives and why they’re amazing. THAT was their bonbairnaire, that truly only stemmed from trying to think outside the box and make it more thoughtful and honouring Morgans opinion of even having a gift. When I rang him with that idea he was blown away. He said it was beautiful, he loved it and was proud of me.

I give that example as a way to show of course there were “disagreements” – but honouring the vows of not getting in to arguments or stress – we ended up coming up with even more beautiful thoughtful ideas.

Everything was love. Everything had intention.

And please don’t think I’m ignoring one of the biggest stressors that can come from planning a wedding – money. Planning your dream wedding of course can have it’s financial stresses, and I was conscious throughout the planning process that Morgan & I were incredibly blessed to not have any of those kind of stresses. We paid for the wedding ourselves with ease…. But let me just honour US for a moment and say we could do that because we made a smart decision 18 months before the wedding to take control of our future. It wasn’t luck, or parents or debt. It was through choices we made to work hard on a business where we can create financial freedom – which we did. A choice you can make to so I won’t ever ever hear “it was easy for them” .. ever. It can be easy for you to.

So here we are. About to delve in to the next 6 parts of our wedding that I want to intimately share with you, beautiful reader. But before I ever did that I truly wanted you to first understand WHY I know in my heart and soul it was the most magical divine day of our lives – because of this key piece of love & intention.

It was our intention to love through the whole process.

It was our intention to focus on the marriage after the one day that was our wedding.

It was our intention to create the most beautiful space for not just us, but our beautiful guests to experience our love for one very very special day.

But above all, it was our intention to create a beautiful life and love AFTER the wedding. Something we knew that if wasn’t the main focus going IN TO to the wedding, certainly wouldn’t be AFTER the wedding.

It is that same intention I hope for you too to focus on whenever it is your turn to experience the most magical divine day of your lives.

I hope the next 6 posts bringing every detail of our magical day bring you as much love and joy as we had experiencing them.

And here is to leading and living a life full of LOVING intention, always.

With all my love,

Anna

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2014; my year in review

2014. I am truly not even sure where to begin with you but let’s start here.

Gratitude.

If there was ever a time that even that word felt insignificant to the year that has been 2014 for me, it’s now. I truly don’t feel there are any words I could write to properly capture the feelings experienced the past 12 months but I can start with the deepest of gratitudes.

2014 for me, was the brightest, boldest, most surreal, most exciting, most free’ing, most extraordinary, most abundant year of my life to date, and you know, even being able to sit here curled up in my zen den writing this post out saying those words fills me with an even deeper sense of gratitude.

Back in 2012 I read a book that changed my life, and in it for the first time I heard the concept about flipping goals on their head, not chasing the ‘thing’ – the boat, the car, the house, the dream job, but chase the feeling that you achieve when you HIT those goals. The book – The Fire Starter Sessions – went on to explain that we set and push to achieve goals to chase those feelings down, so go for the FEELING before you go for the goal, and in doing so, you will lead a much more fulfilling life. It was that book that has ever since giving me my ‘guiding words’ for each year and for 2014 my words were….

Freedom & Abundance

Freedom to live a life of choice. Freedom to travel. Freedom to feel, to flow with life, to stretch in my own time my own ways. Freedom to do what I want without fear of what other people might say or think. Freedom to live in such a way so authentic and congruent to me, it just felt divinely right.

And Freedom and authentic, congruent, beautiful feelings I got.

And then Abundance. And not how you might think. I wanted abundance of the mind, abundance of the spirit, abundance in love and my relationships and abundance in the joy of life. Abundance too in business to be able to do more, serve more and show up in the world more.

And Abundance in mind, spirit, business, relationships, love and joy of living I got.

You see, whether I achieved all of the below that I want to share with you or not, what my greatest accomplishment this year has been is living in to and owning my feelings of Freedom & Abundance. I felt free. I lived in abundance. The rest, the physical goal achievement around those two very things were set in fate because it wasn’t that I pursued, it was the feelings instead.

So to 2014, you have truly been the most divine most extraordinary year of my life and I can’t thank you enough for all that you have dished up for me, but be warned, I’m aiming to make 2015 even brighter, even bolder, even more inspired and more phenomenal so you’re officially on notice. And don’t get me wrong…

2011 year review was rad. 

2012 review was an ode to the best year I’d ever had. 

2013 I wasn’t energetically called to even wrap it up as I felt it couldn’t be done in words as it was just THAT life changing.

But 2014? Well you have thus far taken the cake.

2015?? Stay tuned but I can’t wait to keep sharing the adventures with you in this space.

With each and every year that passes I truly believe we are in a position to manifest every dream, goal, hope and wish and truly make it brighter and more beautiful than the last. You needn’t ever feel like a year will never be able to out-do the last, because that is just the thing about living, as each year passes us by, it should become even more abundant and extraordinary. The trick with it all as well is what I nudged you towards above, it’s not about chasing the ‘things’ down – it’s about leaning in to how you want to feel.

Someone said to me on social media with loving intention “no year will ever out-do 2014 as it was the year you got married!” – and with loving intention right back, I rigorously tend to disagree. Why? Because I felt my way right in to, and up to, and after my wedding and the wedding wasn’t what Morgan or I were chasing. We were chasing down a blissful marriage, commitment on the deepest most divine level humanly possible and freedom and abundance to grow in to even greater versions of ourselves whilst doing the same as a united couple.

So you see,  the wedding isn’t what made 2014 so spectacular (amongst every other minute or huge detail that made up our most extraordinary year) – it was that we were so aligned and in flow with how we wanted to feel. Abundant and Free.

But those are just two of the words that I wanted to lean in to in 2014, but greater and deeper and that, I learnt a whole bunch of stuff as well, powerful, enlightening sometimes hard but mostly easy stuff. So what were my….

{ Lessons of 2014 }

+ That hard work, commitment to your beliefs and values and showing up to give your gifts and abilities in the world will trump giving up, thinking it’s too hard or you’re not worthy every.single.time.

+ Travel truly is the only thing you can buy that does make you richer.

+ There is no such thing as mistakes – every experience in life you have – even the good the bad or the ugly, is a beautiful lesson you in fact needed to go through at that exact time.

+ Listening to your intuition and trusting your gut is the most powerful decision-making tool you can ever use. Ever.

+ That when it comes to loving others, giving to others, serving others and showing up powerfully and authentically in this world, I need to love myself first, give to myself first, serve myself first and show up powerfully and authentically in my own space and for myself first before I can best serve the world. And you have to too.

+ Speaking of showing up powerfully and authentically in this world; I learnt there is nothing sexier than seeing a person live in to their potential just by showing up authentically, breaking free of the shackles of what other people might ‘think’ of them and owning who they are and what they have to offer this world. High five & chest bumps to those people who showed me that and taught me that in 2014.

+ That money does.not.buy.happiness – but it does reward you time and choice freedom which DOES give you happiness. I learnt that people are so often scared or embarrassed to talk about business incomes or what they really hope to achieve in life if it has a dollar figure, and yet to get there it is the one thing you have to address. So show up, speak your truth, declare what you want and don’t ever be afraid to talk about money to let the universe know you’re serious.

+ Weddings are just one day of your life (or in our case, a week-long!) and what you REALLY need to focus on is the commitment and divine life long companionship that ensues after that one day. Don’t ever put the focus on the wedding, put your focus instead on the life you are going to share after – how you will raise your children, what values will you grow in to together and how you both want to show up in the world – and from a girl who still achieved her absolute dream wedding doing all of the above, I promise you your dream wedding will happen.

+ The best things in life are free – but you do need money to not stress. We talk about deep belly laughs, sunrises and sunsets, bear hugs from our loved ones until we’re blue in the face – but if you then go home after that sunset and have bills you can’t pay and  are struggling to make ends meet then I get that comment can frustrate you. SO CHANGE WHATEVER YOU’RE DOING IF IT’S NOT WORKING SO YOU TOO CAN BE THE PERSON THAT CAN SAY WITH CONVICTION…THE BEST THINGS IN LIFE ARE FREE…

Because….

+ At the end of the day – the best things in life really ARE free. Like catching the sunrise and the sunset in the same day. Bumping in to an old friend you’ve been thinking about for weeks and laughing on all the old memories. An “I love you” from your most loved ones. The rain after a hot day and the smell of the trees and earth cooling off or even just the beach on a hot day.

+ Gratitude is the sexiest thing on the planet – and when you have an attitude of gratitude you truly do attract more abundance and ease and flow in to your life.

So … with my words I leaned in to, my lessons and my adventures I want to take you on a visual tour of the year that was…the most abundant and free of my life.

My only wish for you is that you too go and live in to your OWN most extraordinary year of YOUR life. Your emotional, spiritual and physical health depends on it.

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2014 year in review with monthly memories + snapshots

January 

Free trip to Bali // Melbourne

+ All expenses paid trip to Bali – this trip was my second all expenses paid trip I had won with the company I am aligned with and operate my business within and it was one of the best trips to Bali I have ever ever been on (apart from our wedding of course!) as it was 5 star everything, luxury, luxury and more luxury, spoiling, surprises and more fun than you can possibly imagine.

+ Trip to Melbourne to rock out and launch a good friend & biz partners business – Getting to have a business in the network marketing profession means you get to have a national and international business and January saw me take off to Melbourne for a week to go on a speaking tour with my girlfriend and biz partner Diana who was launching her biz in a big way on the Peninsula & Melbourne town. We had a BLAST.

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February 

First major speaking event // Sky diving // Rottnest

+ In January I was beyond humbled, excited and blown away to be asked to speak at the company I am aligned withs major event of the year. The event is called ‘Celebration’ and as the name suggests, it is a huge celebration of individuals accomplishments they have achieved in the year with training intertwined and just a lot of FUN. I had burst in to Isagenix with a huge why and a deep passion to succeed so had run pretty fast with my business and built (& still have) a phenomenal phenomenal team that surrounds me so I was asked to train on just that – how to develop a championship team. I was then also asked to get back on stage the following day to train again on a ‘powerful women panel’ with other women I deeply respect and admire on how I do business and taking questions from the crowd. Stepping up there, in front of 2,500 people, when the most I’d ever spoken in front of before was 300, my palms were sweaty and I swore the people right back of the room could have seen my heart beating out of my chest, but the moment I said my first word, the world stopped and all seemed right in the world. Every time I step on a stage now it fills my heart with the deepest amount of gratitude and excitement but you will never forget your ‘first’ and for me, that was this month of this year and something I will never forget.

+ Another crazy huge and crazy fun thing that happened in February was sky diving! I had already jumped out of a plane once before in 2013 and it was one of the most thrilling experiences of my life, it truly was, but with all things that fun and outrageous why would you NOT do it again? So when a group of my best friends said let’s do it again but this time over Jurien Bay my only answer was YES. It was probably MORE thrilling and fun as the views were surreal, I was with more of my besties than just doing it myself and the road trip down and back was an adventure in itself. I think I will have to start the tradition of sky diving once a year because, well because why not?!

+ Rottnest with my besties again – yep the same ones I skydived with we are quite the adventure junkies – and for a girl who up until 2012 hadn’t even ever been – shocking I know – the more excuses I have to get to that beautiful tiny island the better. We biked the island, drank champagne on the beautiful shore line, ate until we were full in the pub and cart wheeled on the beach.

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Bali //

+ Bali with the besties and this trip was extra special as we had our very good friend come with us for his first time to Bali. We laughed a lot, we talked about life, love, the universe, we partied a lot, we danced a lot and we just had a lot of fun.

p.s Some of my top tips for bali I will do in a separate post but for now, we stayed in and around Seminyak this time and my top tips for there are:

  • Ku De Ta (HAVE to go for sunset cocktail)
  • Moziac (same brand as in Ubud – brilliant food & groovy bar/restaurant on beach)
  • Deuss – really funky for chill out Potato head – infamous in bali. BIG infinity pool bar / grass area. Yummy cocktails
  • Mamma San – best indian in bali
  • Metis – fine dining restaurant
  • La Plancha – super bali. Beanbags on the beach attached to a bar go for sunsets and cold bear
  • Sea Circus – really really really yummy breakfasts
  • La Luciola – on the beach, some of the best italian food I’ve ever eaten
  • Betlenut Cafe – So adorable. ALL organic food, in a wooden barn that is open and overlooks rice fields
  • Sarong – thai/Indonesian/indian – fine dining and FREAKING DELICIOUS – beautiful decor, happening vibe
  • W Bar – mustttttt go here. On the beach, happy hour from 5-7pm, amazing cocktails, funkiest tunes in bali, just super relaxed atmosphere whilst being really upmarket
  • Hotel Mexicola – mexican food as the name suggests REALLYYYYY funky decor, cool tunes, great for dinner (& yummy sangria!!!)

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April

Melbourne // Morgan turned 30 // Sydney

+ I managed to sneak in another trip to Melbourne to go and visit my Dad with my brothers and we had a freaking ball. One of the greatest things I treasure in my life is my family and getting to spend quality time like this trip gifted me with my crazy 3 older brothers is one of those ‘money can’t buy’ kind of things. We were like kids. We all stayed together so stayed up late, yelled at the tv watching footy, ate naughty food, laughed and laughed until early hours and shared a wine most nights. Seeing Dad was special too as we don’t often get to being opposite sides of the country so this trip was absolutely not your average Melbourne trip (especially getting to go to the MCG for the first time ever with my biggest brother Nate and watching our favourite teams; Dockers – Me, Hawthorn – Nate – play each other!)

+ My divine husband and favourite male in the whole wide world turned 30 in April as well and considering birthdays are LITERALLY my favourite day of the whole year I always like to make sure he gets considerably spoilt. I planned a 3 night stay at the Crown Burswood hotel where we had spa treatments, relaxed, tried out almost every restaurant there, worked out, lounged by the pool and just generally had a rockin’ good time. His birthday night we went to Rockpool and downed a delicious bottle of red, and laughed and laughed until it almost felt like we had worked off the steak we’d eaten for dinner! Morgsy is in fact not one for fuss on birthdays so I went ahead and planned a big surprise birthday party for him as well – and the verdict? The best birthday his ever had and doesn’t believe I’ll ever be able to out do it – watch this space.

+ I was also humbled and grateful to be asked to speak at another company event, this time in Sydney on how I use the tools, systems and processes to succeed in Morgan & I’s business and how we use them in the day-to-day runnings so flew over excited as ever to be able to do that. It was actually a business changing event as I got to be an avid audience member too taking away golden nugget after golden nugget from other business mentors I respect and admire – I will never stop loving doing what I do!

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 May 

Morgan came in to the business Full Time //

+ There were a few major things in May that happened but I am only going to focus on one as it was the most phenomenal and life changing event ev-ah. May saw Morgan, my supportive, beautiful, amazing husband, be able to leave his corporate career / job and come in to our Isagenix business Full Time. From the start, the day I dived in to a network marketing business and came home SO excited even though Morgs didn’t understand it and thought I was crazy to begin with, never ever stood in my way. I said I wanted to do this and so he let me fly. The late nights I was in my lady lair really getting it all off the ground, he would bring my dinner in and kiss me on the forehead knowing I was working hard on our future. We had to change our relationship rules – like going to bed at different times and getting up at different times as I had to fit building the business in the cracks of my life around a full-time stressful job … but I couldn’t have succeeded and achieved anything without him. So building the business to a point where we could both very comfortably live off the income it produced, and having him too leave his j.o.b made me happier and more proud than when I left my own corporate career. May changed everything for us in every single way and I will remember the moments in the photos below, and the month – for.ev.er.

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June 

Bali trip with the bestie // Filming video for website launch

+ My bestie and I called a girls time out in June and took off to Bali together to spend a few luxurious days at Alila Uluwatu – she was moving to Bali for 2 months and I wanted to go and help her settle in but we first decided to have some girls time out at Alila and my god was it divine. If you have never been to Alila Uluwatu then I highly highly suggest you pop that up on your vision board and get there. I believe that heaven is actually on earth and you just have to look around to see it, feel it and experience it and I have to say, Alila Uluwatu was as close to heaven on earth physically as I have ever experienced – separate to the Maldives of course! There is nothing better than a time out, in luxury, with your best friend, with sunshine and laughter and love.

+ June also saw Morgan & I film the video for our business that is on this spaces’ home page! We were getting ready to launch Anna & Morgan dot com and did the video filming for the welcome to our space and to share our vision. If you haven’t watched it in a while and you forget why we have this space or what we want to help you with, I encourage you to go back to the home page and watch it again to remind yourself what’s possible and if we can help.

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 July 

Business class trip // Kelowna, Canada

+ July was the start of an epic adventure that saw us depart – end of July – for just over 4 weeks in the States with a little stop over in Canada but we started it the right way with return tickets business class. We flew Perth –> Sydney –> LA –> Vancouver … the Sydney to LA leg was obviously the longest (14 hours) and the most incredible. Being able to drink french champagne, lay flat, be served 4 course meal and then snack on deliciousness was an experience we’ll never forget. I had on my vision board that year to fly business at least once and we ended up flying it most of the year – but this trip, this 14 hour leg was as I said, THE most phenomenal experience ever.

+ Kelowna was a 4 day whirlwind adventure as we went to a good friends engagement party which saw us partying until the wee wee hours of the morning (I’m talking pizza was ordered and delivered around the 3am mark and we were still raging). We also got to see a lot of this beautiful town, jet skii’ing on the huge lake and sight-seeing until our hearts were content. I naturally tried the national drink – Cesear – and don’t know I’ll ever have another, but what I DO know is that we will absolutely be back to that beautiful country – and soon.

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 August 

LA // NYC // Austin // Sedona // San Franciso // San Diego

Los Angeles 

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New York City 

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Austin

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San Francisco 

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 San Diego

Ball

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October

Got married // Honeymooned in the Maldives

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November 

All expenses paid trip to New Zealand as a Top Achiever //

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December

Melbourne //

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2014 truly, deeply, right to my core was the most expansive, phenomenal, abundant year of my (& Morgans) life and being able to honour the moments sitting even writing this now has me covered in goosebumps with tears in my ears.

But here is what I know for sure .

2015 will be just as big – except even bigger – because it’s just a choice.

I choose to commit to make my years bigger and more expansive and divine than the last.

I choose to lean in to my guiding feelings and build my goals around that.

And I choose, every day, to make it better than the last and fill it with things or people I love.

It’s ALL just a choice.

And you can choose too.

So in 2015, I want you to choose happiness, health, wealth and love for yourself, and I am so committed to you doing just that I wanted to end with a love note – to you.

Dear you. 

2015 is your year, I mean that with every cell in my being. All the love, all the happiness, all the success, every dream, wish goal that you have it’s time to go out and claim it all. You don’t need to play small anymore, you are more powerful, more worthy and more extraordinary than you can truly imagine and it’s time to step in to THAT power and lean in to your own greatness and brilliance. 

This is your year for vision boards coming to life. The year for success on every level. It’s the year to find and develop a new love or book the trip to the place you have always said you would. It’s the year for late night adventures, belly laughs, and to re discover the wonder and awe of this big beautiful world – the world that spins around with a moon and a sun that rise every day just for you – without asking for anything in return. 

This is your year to say goodbye to every excuse you’ve accumulated and turn them in to your REASONS instead. You ARE going to have your most extraordinary year because of the trials and tribulations you’ve over come. You ARE going to have the most abundant year ever because it’s YOUR TIME. You ARE going to have the most amazing year of your life because you are worthy beyond measure. 

In any given moment, on any given day – YOU have the power to change your situation and manifest what you truly wish for in your life and in 2015 I dare you to create the grandest, boldest most wild vision for your life, use every colour in the box and dream as big as you can go – and bigger – because believe me when I say; it’s ALL possible. 

They say life is either a daring adventure or nothing at all, but I believe its your greatest creation, your masterpiece and your stage to live out every single dream you desire and from today on, it is the masterpiece and creation YOU are in control of. 

Forever and always I will be cheering you on the loudest and can’t wait to celebrate along in every single one of your successes. 

You are a bright spark of divine love and light with purpose on this earth with so much to give. 

Shine bright my darling. 

Love with all my heart, 

Anna Richards 

XOXO

What if today was your last day?

now

BEEP BEEP, BEEP BEEP, BEEP BEEP.

It’s 6am and your alarm is going off on a Tuesday. You wake up and the first thing you do is grab your phone, wishing against all might that you could just sleep in a few more hours as you are just so so tired. You spend 10-15 minutes catching up on everything you feel you might have missed over night on your Facebook feed and eventually crawl out of bed to the shower to start your day wishing you could just have the day off and not go in to the office today. The emails you have waiting, the phone you know that won’t stop ringing and the people you can’t necessarily be bothered to deal with today all await you once you get to the office and it makes you sigh.

It’s not even 7am and you have already had 10 negative thoughts without even realising.

You eventually get to work, but not before you curse that there is no milk in the fridge for your coffee, give your partner a kiss goodbye without any real emotion or feeling and get silently angry on the inside that there is peak hour traffic – AGAIN and when will this routine ever end.

The day comes and goes. You spend most of your day not thinking too much of how you’re showing up in the world and at the office barely giving your all because it’s not your dream job, and at the end of the day rush home, completely missing all of the beauty surrounding you including the sun setting as you make your way up to your door. You walk in your house to give your partner another hello kiss still without much emotion and curl up in front of the tv to watch your favourite tv show, tired, over it and feeling sorry for yourself that you haven’t had an amazing day in weeks.

It’s the same routine you have followed for days, weeks, months or even years now.

It’s pretty late, so you take yourself off to bed to do it all again tomorrow, but before you go to sleep, you spend the last 15 minutes of your night not cuddled in to your loved one talking about intentions of what you hope to achieve tomorrow or nuzzled in to an enriching book, but instead on your side of the bed scrolling through facebook justtttt one last time…..

BEEEEEP BEEEEEP BEEEEEP BEEEEEP BEEEEEP BEEEEEP

Your alarm goes off again on a sunny Wednesday morning except this time, this time you don’t reach over to turn it off wishing and hoping you could just sleep in a few more hours because this time, this time….

 ….you didn’t make it through the night.

Your body lays there lifeless, having finished its time here on earth for no reason – your heart just, stopped.

High above your body you are consciously there, in spirit form, screaming you’re not ready to go, you never got to go to your #1 bucket list city, you didn’t even tell your partner you loved them last night, in fact you start crying realising you can’t even remember the last time you properly told your whole family and best friends you love them. You are shaking with emotion as you realise your last day on earth, was spent like SO many others, sleepily, not showing up, no passion, no love, no…nothing. You realise that although you are dead now, you have essentially been dead for a long time.

You realise, you have lived a life in the shadows.

……………….

sunsetrain

Ok, breathing in the story above, now I want you to come back to this present moment and just really let that story sit somewhere inside of you where you need waking up.

It’s a tough subject for some people to talk about, death, but to help you to understand the importance of showing up everyday and leaving everything on the table like it was your last day – the example needed to be given.

What IF today was your last day on earth? Would you be happy how you lived today? Were you present in all that you did? Did you fill your day with nourishing food, meaningful conversations, and love?

I see it all the time, so so SO many people want to live an extraordinary life, one of abundance, of choice, of freedom, and yet they still allow themselves to live as if they have time – and if there is one thing I know for sure Time is one of our most precious commodities on this earth. People who believe they have time live out mediocre day after mediocre day after mediocre day, they blame their upbringing, their external circumstances, their boss or anyothertinythingunderthesun for not being able to live that extraordinary life, not really understanding or realising that THEY  have total control of their life and THEY have total control over how they live out their days.

The way that I live my life, and I truly truly mean this, is I have a deathbed mentality. A mentality that I act as if every day could be my last. Every day I am grateful for the day I am given from the moment my eyes are awake but even more than that I ask myself, if today WERE my last day on earth, how would I want to spend it?

Here is the trap that people get stuck at however. There is a critical aspect to this mentality and way of living and please know this ….. it is not at ALL about monetary value or not having to work either – I am completely aware and understand that majority of society have to go to jobs and have financial responsibility – what it’s about is how you SHOW UP and how you FEEL.

How do you wake up? Do you wakeup and grab your phone? Or do you wake up and immediately fill your head with positive thoughts and gratitude for being given another day, for the warm bed that you’re in and the 2 working arms & legs you have (a luxury a lot of people don’t have).

How do you have breakfast? Do you rush out the door not even honouring one of the most important meals of the day or do you stop and enjoy it, filling your body with nutritious and healthy fuel?

How are your interactions all day long? Are you being the best version of you? Present? Loving? Accepting? Calm? Productive? Positive? Or do you justtttt do enough to scrap by day to day and live in a shell of normality and routine never daring to step out of your comfort zone. Do you enter in to judgement and bitchiness? Or do you maintain impeccability of your word and always always take the positive route (remember, a positive thought is as easy to choose as a negative one…fact).

Do you regularly share with the people you love that you DO love them? If something like “I am too shy to say it” or worse “my dad/mum never said it to me so I have always had the fear to say it others” comes up for you – PLEASEEEEE STOP IT RIGHT NOW. Go back to the story. Remember that time is your most precious commodity and you don’t in fact control when your time is up – how many I love you’s are you prepared to take to the grave with you?

How are you filling in your spare time? Are you finding your lifes purpose and filling your evenings and weekends and spare moments with things that you love? Or are you ‘too tired’ to do anything else other than sit mindlessly in front of the tv evening, after evening, after evening.

This is YOUR life. Yours and only yours to live. I am only here with the purest of loving intentions to share my own secrets to a deeply fulfilling life and know this, long before I started the business I now have that does reward me more financial freedom I lived with this mentality.

How you show up in this world is EVERYTHING. How you live your life day by day by day is even more than that. I have learnt that…

Life isnt about getting to a destination.

The joy & juice & happiness comes from living in every day. Taking delight in the day to day moments of your life. Like waking up in a warm bed and next to someone you love. Like seeing someone smile to themselves in the street making you smile to yourself. Like receiving a delicious cup of coffee & the barrister, who didn’t need to but did it anyway, making a cute heart or leaf on top of your coffee. It’s the moments of pure gratitude you have when you are out for dinner with family or friends and there are belly laughs around the table. It’s when you feel the warmth of your skin in the Summer or your favourite song comes on in the car. It’s when you walk in the door to see your dog so excited showing you more love than anything in the world.

The more beauty you find in each day, the more gratitude you have for each moment, this I promise you; the more beauty & exquisiteness will come in to your life.

Happiness is not a final destination….

 it is living in each moment of every single day of your life. Today, this day is all you have. The quote Carpe diem – seize the day is such a divinely inspired reminder that every day is truly yours and yours alone to seize and live out with love and wonder.

And if nothing else, I hope this next story touches you and inspires something deep inside of you to move your life in to living each day out fully and with love than with mediocracy and comfort zones.

greatness

BEEP BEEP, BEEP BEEP, BEEP BEEP.

It’s 6am and your alarm is going off on a Tuesday. Your eyes open and a smile is already spread wide across your face. Far out, you think. What a gift to be given another day … AND it’s sunny outside – double quadruple score. You look over to see the love of your life next to you and wake them with a kiss & good morning. They wake up happy & smiling knowing how deeply they are loved. Before your feet hit the ground, just like every other morning, you pick up your gratitude journal and write 5 quick things down you are already grateful for that day or what occurred the day before; on todays list is a hot cup of coffee you know is waiting for you after your work out, the hot shower youre about to get in, the sunshine beating down outside, the lovely old lady who said hello to you at the shops yesterday that reminded you of your own grandparents & made you smile all day, and the fact you made several of your work mates laugh yesterday. It’s not even 7am and you have already had 10 positive thoughts without even trying.

You eventually get to work, after an amazing morning work out and healthy breakfast and feel incredible. You have listened to your favourite music, giving your partner a loving and thoughtful embrace and kiss & love you as you walk out the door and smile to yourself all the way on the bus / train to work. You realise that although youre going to a job that isn’t your forever gig – youre just grateful that for now, it is comfortably paying your bills and you have a place where you can show up and push yourself every day growing in leadership and personal development with challenges & triumphs.

The day comes & goes but all day long you are present for your co-workers, you laugh, help out where you need to, say hello to all that cross your path and make sure no one leaves your desk feeling less happy than when they came. Your whole office constantly says how positive you are and how you brighten their day and just by hearing that – your day is brightened.

You take the train home smiling at the lunch time laughs you got to have and taking in the most beautiful sunset on the walk home stopping in awe every few steps to watch how the clouds change formation and the sky puts on the most beautiful show that you feel is just for you.

It’s the same routine you have every day – and it just feels so good. You are called to text one of your best friends just to remind them how much you love them and appreciate their friendship and take a call from your mum pouring presence and love in to the quick exchange of words you share.

Walking through the door you are excited to see your partner already home and give them a long hug and big kiss and say how grateful you are for them and ask genuinely how their day was. You have dinner without your phones talking about the days going on’s and laughing and laughing over sharing stories from the recent trip you took that you hadn’t put off even though it wasn’t an ideal time to go.

You spend the night doing your favourite hobby, music blaring, filling your mind and heart with your favourite things.

Feeling content, satisfied and happy you realise it’s pretty late, so you take yourself off to bed to do it all again tomorrow, but before you go to sleep, you spend the last 15 minutes of your night cuddled in to your loved one talking about intentions of what you hope to achieve tomorrow and read a quick last chapeter of your favourite book……..

BEEEEEP BEEEEEP BEEEEEP BEEEEEP BEEEEEP BEEEEEP

Your alarm goes off again on a sunny Wednesday morning except this time, this time you don’t reach over to turn it off because this time, this time….

you didn’t make it through the night.

Your body lays there lifeless, having finished its time here on earth for no reason – your heart just, stopped.

High above your body you are consciously there, in spirit form, although you know those on earth will be so sad at your passing, you float their looking down on yourself smiling, knowing that you left EVERYTHING you had on the table every single day. You know that everyone you loved, knows just how deeply you love them. You had visions board for years and had ticked everything off year after year. You know that all that you had to say every day and all the kindess that you had to pour was given and you served as powerfully as you could on the earth just by showing up authentically as you and giving all of your love. You know you lived with passion, love, purpose & happiness – and you know that your loved ones will be ok as they know that is how you lived as well.

You realise, you have lived a life in bright colour and painted in bold brushes and left the earth a much brighter beautiful place than when you first came.

…………

So my wishes for you in this life.

I hope you have the courage to live in bright bold colours.

I hope you have the courage to live with kindess and pour love in all of your interactions and all of those that you love know how deeply they really are loved by you.

I hope you have the courage to show up authentically and powerfully every day as you and step fully in to your gifts and power to live out your purpose.

My deep wish for you is that I truly hope you have the courage to live every day as if it WAS your last.

Images; here & here

My week, with Instagram

As I reflect back over a wonderful week that was captured through the lens of my camera I can’t stop thinking about the fact that Mr M & I are now only 20 sleeps away from our trip of a lifetime. If I was to be completely honest with you though, we’re not actually even counting days until we leave, we’re more going by how many sleeps until we finish work – which is 16 for those wanting to know – which I’m sure is no one. To give you an idea of how fast time is going however, for us anyway, it feels like only mere days ago I was counting down with 50 sleeps left to go. That was a whole month ago – and it honestly feels like last week. Now here we are, with 20 sleeps ahead of us, big dreams in our heads and hearts and a tonne of excitement all around us. Trying to listen to my own advice though, I truly am relishing in all of my moments leading up to the departure date and am soaking in as much of life in the here and now as ever even if it means taking 10 minutes out to catch up on some reading, or sitting outside with my morning coffee & enjoying the fresh air. I am living my life more Joi De Vivre than ever and here are just some of the reasons why … 

1. A delicious breakfast with 2 of my best girlfriends on a gorgeous Saturday morning.
2. Snap of Photo a Day July – Best part of my day? Coming home to Mr M every night.
3. Soaking up the sun with loved ones with new sunnies & a new necklace
4. Drinking on a surprisingly warm sunny Winter’s day with all of my family
5. Chocolate + Coffee + my problem solving questions make any problem easily fixed.
6. Some of my new purchases not yet packed away sitting on my wardrobe floor.
7. My new morning ritual – drinking a big green healthy smoothie (more on that next week).
8. Some of the most delicious coffee ever shared with my nearest and dearest.

You can follow me on Instagram at lifesshinyprettythings

Our beautiful earth


Do you ever just stop? To smell the roses, to take a deep breathe of clean air, to say thank you to mother earth for all that she does and all that she is? Me either, which in no way am I proud to say. I know first hand however, just how easy it is to forget how lucky we are to be living and breathing on this big beautiful earth. It’s no wonder either – whilst not only trying to pursue our own happiness, we can be hit with daily obstacles, struggles and distractions which consume our lives, all of our minutes in all of our days. But whilst we’re battling our own struggles and celebrating our triumphs, mother earth is out there, in all her beautiful glory, day in day out – for us. Living and breathing, providing us with scenery that no movie could ever compete with, oceans that no pools will ever compare to, and moments such as sunrises and sunsets that no money can ever buy. So as you are rushing through your busy day today, stressing about that deadline you might not meet, getting frustrated over the plans that might fall through and flicking through websites without really stopping to absorb, take a second to be grateful for this extraordinary world we live in that provides us with all we really need to live – air, water and time…. to love and live.

I found all of these beautiful photographs from this website … there are so so many more, so if you’d like to soak up some more beauty then pop on over there.

Delilah turns 1

“Only an Aunt… can give hugs like a mother, can keep secrets like a sister, and share love like a friend.” – unknown

A year ago almost to the date, my sister gave our family the greatest gift known to the world, a niece (& granddaughter for mum) Delilah. I never knew of the love you could have for a child that isn’t your own until Delilah came along, it is overpowering and all consuming. Mr M laughs all the time at my mum & I’s alleged bias opinions when we swear she really is the cutest most genius child that ever walked the earth. We celebrated on the weekend gone by her big 1st birthday with family and loved ones. My sister dressed her in the most darling little outfit and there was lot’s of squeals of delight from Delilah as she got tonnes of kisses, cuddles, presents and attention. I was excited to host the party at Mr M & I’s house and with the help of Mum & Beth whipping up a cooking feast the night before, the party went off without a hitch. So Delilah, as you turn 1 and continue to grow and learn and we all watch in wonder and awe, I promise you the following. To always hug & love you like a mother, keep secrets like your sister and share love like your friend. I love you more than anything, and can’t wait to watch you grown from a baby to a beautiful woman. Love Aunty Anna.



My week, with Instagram

I think it’s always important to remember to be thankful for the little things that happen in life. I can sometimes get so caught up in daily going on’s or big issues at work to forget that life isn’t just made up of big obvious moments, but filled with all the little moments that actually make your day too. We’re a mere 34 days away from Europe now (I actually don’t feel like it’s real anymore it’s so close) and I’m trying to be aware of living days normally leading up to that not just putting all my focus on the departure date and subsequent adventures.  So here is my list of things I am grateful for that make my life so full and rich…

  • Visiting my sister & almost 1 year old niece and being greeted with a high pitch squeal of delight from Delilah and a big sloppy kiss & cuddle.
  • Going to sleep every night and waking up to next to Mr M every day and knowing just how lucky we are to have one another.
  • Drinking my morning coffee every day whilst getting ready for a job I love.
  • Being able to run and walk every day as a healthy person.
  • For being up early enough to watch a sunrise before work everyday.
  • Having a big girls night in with cocktails & so many laughs.
  • For still getting excited when I pull in to the driveway & seeing Mr M’s car knowing his inside.
  • Being surrounded in my life by loving and amazing people.
  • And simply – for being alive, for seeking out joie de vivre moments in everything I do.
What are you most grateful for in your life – those little everyday things that sometimes get forgotten. I’d love to hear them.
1. Watching a particularly beautiful sunrise on one of my morning runs this week.
2. A photo montage of Mr M & I took a photo of to send to Mr M as his currently away working.
3. Writing a handwritten letter to one of my best friends who is on a big amazing trip.
4. Drinking a delicious cocktail that was consumed on a very fun girls night in.
5. Being surprised with a love heart in my coffee when trying a new local bar/restaurant in our area.
6. Watching the sunrise .. again (my favourite part of the day!)
You can follow me on Instagram at lifesshinyprettythings