Peter and Dilhan

 

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Destined to be together from the beginning, Peter and Dilhan's love story actually began numerous years before they officially started dating. Back and forth over many cities and countries, Peter and Dilhan always stayed in touch. Then, some years later, when Peter had settled in the same city as Dilhan, these handsome gents made their love official.

It was during a trip to New York that Dilhan dropped to one knee, and finally, after Australia changed its marriage laws, these two celebrated their 'I do' in a picturesque wedding of their dreams.

Photography Lover Of Mine | Location Sydney, AUS

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MR T - Tell us, how and when did you meet?

P - We met in 2008, Dilhan was living in Brisbane, and myself in Sydney. Dil was invited down to Sydney by a mutual friend for a birthday, this friend introduced us on a drunken Saturday night, then again properly the day after down at Opera Bar in front of the Harbour Bridge.

MR T - What were the early days of your relationship like?

P - For several years we were interstate friends, keeping in touch via Myspace and group friend visits to each city every time we had a good reason. It wasn’t until a chance encounter while both travelling separately in NYC that we realised there was more spark between us than we had anticipated. Due to circumstance, we continued as friends in different cities for another few years. In 2013 I moved to Melbourne, Dilhan’s hometown, and we then reconnected. Sadly, Dilhan was sent abroad for a year to work, so the long-distance love story

MR T - Given that we finally have Marriage Equality, tell us what Marriage means to you?

P & D - We never felt we needed marriage to define our relationship, as having shared so much over the years prior. Our bond felt rock solid and was recognised by those who mattered most from the get-go. Experiencing the political climate shift while being engaged, and being exposed to so many other stories and histories around same-sex marriage in Australia, motivated us to pursue the next stage. First supporting the cause, joining the campaign fight and in turn being a representation of what we fought for. Through this experience, it also became abundantly clear, to all the inequalities same-sex couples had in not being able to marry legally. So, to us, marriage will always be more than just the unifying of ourselves, our name and our future. We look back and are amazed to be a part of Australia’s history, in being legally married a year after the law passed.

MR T - And the proposal, how did this unfold?

P - Dilhan did all the hard work on May 31st 2014 when we were back in NYC for a holiday. I, being none the wiser, was taken to The Wythe Hotel in Brooklyn for an intimate dinner and some couple time, as we had been travelling with a mutual friend until that point. After dinner, Dil suggested a drink on the rooftop bar, so while looking back at the Manhattan skyline, sipping G&T’s, Dilhan dropped to one knee and for the first time in his life, made me speechless.

MR T - So by now wedding bells are ringing, when did you get married?

P - We always honoured the 29th of December as our anniversary, as it was the date I first called Dilhan my “boyfriend” … when planning our wedding day in 2018, it fell on a Saturday and aligned with family and friends being in Sydney for the holidays, so we locked it down.

Peter & Dilhan’s story continues below →

MR T - When it came to planning, was there a primary influence behind your wedding?

P - Considering that this was the first gay wedding we’ve experienced, we really felt that there were no rules and that we were able to create memories influenced by each of our traditions and cultures. It was important to Dilhan that he share elements of his Turkish cultural experiences when it came to entertainment and food, and ensuring the atmosphere flowed effortlessly.

As much as it was an opportunity to pamper ourselves and dress up, we both saw the event as a celebration and blending of two families with multiple friends, to unify our love in front of all those witnesses, to show we mean for it to be forever, and share some positivity after a couple of years of personal struggle.

MR T - What was the most important thing to you surrounding your wedding?

P & D - Great food, bottomless booze, and memorable music.

MR T - Where did you find the bulk of your inspiration?

P & D - We’ve both always shared an appreciation for industrial design and architectural influences, paired with natural foliage. Paddington Reservoir offered precisely this in its built environment and provided a visual inspiration for the reception warehouse space.

To fill in the gaps, there were endless nights surfing the web, Pinterest, Insta and the like. TheWedShed.com was a hugely helpful resource in the beginning, not knowing where to start.

MR T- How did you choose your suppliers?

P & D - Budget definitely guided our decision making. We were lucky to be approached by some independently, researched reviews on others, and went by word of mouth recommendations by friends and family.

MR T - Any standout suppliers?

P & D - Our photographer, Lover of Mine, was definitely our most engaging supplier. Anthony and Kim went above and beyond to pitch themselves to us, offered a test shoot, and just made us feel so comfortable. They expressed such genuine interest in our story and blended into the big day seamlessly. And most importantly, the images they captured were better than we could have hoped!

MR T - Did you find it challenging to translate more common traditions into a ‘same-sex’ wedding?

P & D - We really didn’t feel challenged with the need to stick to traditions as we knew from the beginning that we were creating a new experience for many of our friends and family. The traditions we liked, we kept and altered to suit our vision.

MR T - Tell us what you found most difficult when planning your wedding?

P & D - Letting go of some finer details, and culling the guest list.

MR T - And the honeymoon?

P & D - We had so many friends and family in town for the celebration, and considering NYE was around the corner, it didn’t feel right to run off right away. Instead, we will be honeymooning this August 2019, in Europe! France, Corsica, Tel Aviv, & Istanbul. Can’t wait.

MR T - And finally, any advice for other couples planning their day and finding it difficult to navigate the journey?

P & D - Breathe… engage suppliers that you trust and get along with on a personal level. Don’t get caught up in the commercial fluff, and remember to step back to remind yourselves why you are doing this. There will be lots of outside influences and advice – a lot of it unwarranted – but stay true to your vision and story. Lastly, don’t be afraid to ask for help.


Vendors

Photographer Love of Mine

Ceremony Paddington Reservoir

Reception Freedom Hub

Suits Suit Supply, Institchu

Planner Us!

Flowers Self-sourced from the markets

Hair & Makeup Veronika Moreira

Cake Grandma’s baklava, and our best friend’s world famous caramel slice!

Stationery Giverny Reid - Our friend

Celebrant Eres Weddings - Dilhan’s cousin

Catering One Pot Catering (www.onepotcatering.net.au)

Furniture Valiant Hire, Love Sick Weddings