Erin Janine Barrell and Daniel Allan McMullan
Hunter Valley Gardens Chapel and Tempus Two Winery, Pokolbin
Dads traditionally test the legitimacy of their daughter’s suitors with a few pointy questions. Not Erin’s dad. He insisted on taking Daniel, who claimed to have his diving license, for a dive “with the intent of testing him out ‘good and proper’ to make sure that he actually did dive and wasn’t exaggerating.”
Luckily, Daniel was legitimate. It was just another joyride for this electrician, who fell in love with his future wife on the rides of Hong Kong’s Disneyland.
Erin and Daniel originally met through mutual friends. They started dating on the sly all the while pretending to resist their friends’ matchmaking attempts. Since coming out of the romantic closet they’ve been adventuring around the world, ticking off a bucket list that is “longer than we can write travel destinations.”
In their time together Daniel has introduced Erin to “the wonderful world of camping.” Erin, in turn has introduced Daniel to her lizard phobia (herpetophobia).
She has also introduced him to several obsessions including with her Scottish Terrier, Jock as well as Elton John, whose memorabilia now adorns the walls of their house.
As a dutiful husband, Daniel is learning to tolerate Erin's love for Jock and is learning to like Elton John.
The unconditionality of love, of course, cuts both ways. Erin has accepted Daniel’s obsessive love of pasta, which he could eat “for breakfast lunch and dinner ... seven days a week.”
She has also relented and stopped trying to feed him peas and corn, which he just picks “out of any dish presented to him.”
True to their passion for travel, the proposal happened on an adventure in the Middle East.
In Jordan for their last night, they set up camp at a Bedouin village in the desert of Wadi Rum, where Lawrence of Arabia was filmed.
The next morning they rode camels up a sand dune to watch the sun rise over the desert. As the sun broke over the mountain tops Daniel proposed with a “gorgeous ring” that had been hand-made by a good mutual jeweller friend.
An elegant and laid back day with 95 guests, Daniel cried as Erin walked down the aisle, escorted by both her parents.
After an emotional ceremony, they unleashed their playful side. Many of their professional photos were taken in the the Hunter Valley’s Storybook Garden with the Dish and Spoon, the big red chair, Humpty Dumpty, and the Mad Hatter's Tea Party.
They surprised their guests with fireworks while they cut the wedding cake, which featured personalised miniatures of Daniel, Erin and of course Jock the Scottish Terrier.
Naturally, their first dance was to Elton John.
A Henry Roth A-line, ivory dress with a draped bustier, lace-up bodice and dropped waist skirt.
Made by the bride's cousin, Kristine Chie of Kristine's Kreative Cakes, it was a three-tier chocolate Jaffa mud cake.
Photographs were by Steve Brack
They travelled to the Mamanuca Islands in Fiji