Lara Gilbride

Where did you meet each other?

Patrick and I met each other in Deloitte Johannesburg where we both worked. In the canteen one afternoon of all places while having lunch with friends. We went for drinks shortly after that and we really liked each other. Little did I know a few days after that meeting, Patrick moved to the US for 6 months. 40 000 wasps later (yes, they were counted, automatically) we went on our first date the weekend he was back. The rest is literally history. We dated from that day onwards and have now all in all know each other for four years.

In short, tell us about your wedding day:

The idea for the wedding came about as a combination of fairy tales. Patrick and I had been invited to and attended 19 weddings together. We wanted something completely different, unique to us and simply, a longer celebration. And so the idea was born. We wanted our closest family and friends to gather at a villa in the small town of Villa Bartolomeo, south of Verona and in the heart of the Lombardy wine fields. The wedding was to be reminiscent of “the good old days.” Celebrations, sightseeing, Romeo & Juliet’s balcony, being serenaded on a Venetian gondola…and finally the wedding reception. The proceedings translated from Afrikaans to English and then to Italian, as our guests hailed from South Africa, England, Canada and America. The ancient villa provided the perfect backdrop for the ceremony and a local chef and his team concocted a spectacular menu, taking tastes and requests into account. The various activities leading up to and including the special day, were arranged and led by hand-picked guests from the wedding party. Italian wines lubricated the celebrations and all that was left to be done was to celebrate our union, friends and family, traditions, excitement, different cultures, joy, beauty and love.

What is your definition of a successful marriage?
A happy marriage to Patrick and I would be our shared hobbies, of world politics, we love having deep and meaningful conversations around the dinner table about our different views, having friends and family over and planning our next holiday destination. Romantic gestures for each other are always a winner no matter how big or small, a little note the lunch box or a surprise date night reservation. Our premises in our vows were to accept each other’s faults, trust and importantly supporting one another. We have done well with this throughout our relationship and it has really brought us together. We both have demanding jobs and spending quality time together is key, our evenings are spent around the dinner table with no TV or cell phones catching up. We are best friends no doubt, through thick and thin. We make sure we make time to have fun, we laugh so well together. We treasure the little things even though they might seem insignificant, it’s the little gestures like kissing, cuddling and saying I love you that has helped us to retain our closeness and intimacy. We have balanced compromise and giving each other space to do things separately, which has proven to bring us closer.