Natalie and Michael met in high school, they were fourteen and fifteen, respectively. Initially itroduced by Natalie's cousin, they both knew it was love just a few years into their high school sweetheart relationship.
"Our relationship truly blossomed over the years... we've gotten closer and our love has grown stronger. We are one another's soul mates and best friends." said Natalie. Michael proposed on a Friday afternoon. "I came home from work to find a sign on the door that led me inside the house," said Natalie. "I opened the door to see a trail of candles and rose petals leading me on a path to where Michael was waiting for me. Our song was playing in the background... it was so romantic!"
Natalie had absolutely no idea that Michael was about to propose, even though she laughingly admits she'd been playfully bugging him for months. "It was absolutely the best surpise ever!" she declares emphatically.
They had originally planned to marry at the end of 2012, but Michael's mother Janet was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and told she only had 12 months to live. "The afternoon that we found out this devastating news, we immediately decided to move our wedding forward," said Natalie. "We rang around to see which venues had vacancies and luckily for us March 5th was available." Sadly Janet passed away just six weeks before the wedding date. "Our wedding was made all the more special and touching because we'd brought it forward for Janet. We tried our hardest to make her a part of the day, from including her in our church readings, to playing a song in her memory, we had menus made up saying From Heaven and we asked our guests to light special candles at the reception, just before we cut the cake, for a minute's silence in her memory."
Michael and Natalie got married at St Brendan's Catholic Church in Annandale and held their reception at Dockside, Cockle Bay Wharf. "We were lucky enough to get the fireworks night, which takes place on the first Saturday of every month, it made for a really beautiful evening and some spectacular photographs." They chose an elegant palette of lipstick (deep pink) and ivory. Natalie found her wedding gown at Sweethearts Bridal in Blacktown - a gorgeous Essense dress that was just the second dress she tried on. "Ever since I was a little girl I've had my wedding dress picked out in my mind. As soon as I tried it on I fell in love with it! I still can't believe I found it in the first shop I went to. I came out with the second dress I tried on!" she says in disbelief. "It was AMAZING!"
Natalie chose roses for the bouquets, ivory, complemented by a few bright and light pink roses. The venue was decorated with candelabras and rose petals (reminscent of Michael's beautiful proposal), and they also employed dramatic coloured lights during the reception, for a sense of occasion. Their wedding cake was four tiers with ivory sugar roses and ivory ribbons. Guests dined on a sumptuous three course meal and delighted in the impromptu fireworks display.
"Overall the entire day and night was one to remember forever. It was the best day of our lives and we were so happy to be able to share this day with our family and friends." Michael and Natalie spent their wedding night at the Park Hyatt in Sydney. They are yet to honeymoon, but hope to visit Malta, where both their families are from. Their plans for the future are to live a happy and healthy life together and one day start a family of their own.
Congratulations Michael and Natalie Refalo! What an absolutely beautiful, touching story and a gorgeous wedding. Thank you for sharing it!
Stunning photography by Expressions Photography.
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