It was planned months before we left Melbourne that Juz would fly back to Melbourne to be a bridesmaid our mate’s wedding in March. It wasn’t planned that Dave would come too until Juz’s mum offered to sort out his ticket so that we could both be at her big 60th fancy dress birthday party the week after the wedding.
We couldn’t refuse the offer, and decided to keep it a secret so that we could surprise Dave’s mum for her birthday, as well as the bride and groom and all of our friends and family. Keeping the secret was the hardest part. Juz kept slipping and said ‘we’ instead of ‘I’ many times, trying to cover it up with a fumble of words while Dave’s tactic was to be honest and only talk about what I was doing, without mentioning that he was going to be there too.
The 10 days we spent in Melbourne were intense. After Juz’s mum picked us up from the airport, we went to Dave’s parent’s place on the other side of the city and presented Dave’s beardy face to his mum. She was ecstatic and we left Dave there to settle in. Juz spent the night at her mum’s place, giving Ali the cat and Funny Face heaps of sneeze-inducing cuddles before finally going to bed.
The next two days was all about the wedding. After over two months of training and conscious (and at times, mindless) eating for Operation Bridesmaid, Juz got the chance to try the dress on for the first time since November. The zip went up and there was a huge sense of achievement and relief. Friday was dedicated to helping the bride prepare and relax, and Saturday started nice and early with hair, makeup, bubbly and photography before tumbling into the limo to get to the chapel. The rest of the day was magical…
Dave’s involvement in the wedding was a little different. While he was supposed to be a surprise, we didn’t want to steal the wedding couple’s thunder, so we had to pick the best moment to unveil the beard. During the ceremony, all the guests had their eyes on the bride and groom while Dave slipped in via a side door and snuck up to the balcony to watch. After the “You may now kiss the bride” part, Dave took a couple more pictures before exiting the chapel like a bearded ninja.
The surprise would be saved for the reception later that evening. Dave waited outside until the bridal party were all seated and once the entrees were being served, Juz called him and handed her phone to the groom.
“It’s Dave,” she said. “He wants to congratulate you and Janet…”
While congratulating the groom, Dave started walking into the party, smiling at the astonished looks and pointing fingers of friends. As he neared the bridal table, the best man was pulling on the groom’s sleeve.
“Seb! Seb! Dave’s here!”
“Shut-up man, I’m on the phone with Dave!”
It wasn’t until Dave was a few meters from the newlyweds that Seb looked up, looked back at the phone and smiled “You bastard!” The bride and groom were really surprised and Seb nearly ended up in tears. Happy days!
The rest of the week was filled with family and kitty reunions, café breakfasts, pho lunches, casual dinners with friends and BBQs that flowed into the early morning hours. Juz also made time to work on her Olympic snatch with dungeon master, Andrew Ellem at Pivotal Health and Fitness in Murrumbeena, and visit her krav crew at Guardian Defence in Brunswick.
Wednesday night was put aside for the Our Naked Australia VIP Night. The party was so exclusive, there were only four people there – Dave and Juz and the Strong Intent & Co. crew who built the website, Cyn and Matty. The night started off with a glass of Chimay and quick dip on the 23rd floor of the Rydges building before heading out for dinner and drinks at Trunk Diner. After a great feed, we got a bit fancy and enjoyed some period cocktails at 1806.
The fancy dress party was a great success. Juz’s mum stood out from the crowd as the Queen of Hearts while Dave and Juz went as Ned Kelly and Nigella Lawson. The party was also attended by big names like George Clooney, Kate Middleton, Penelope Cruz and Rove McManus, and great characters like Zorro, Mary Poppins and The Joker.
On the day of our departure, we had a big Easter lunch with family and gorged on lasagne, prosciutto and Dave’s mum’s amazing sticky date pudding. It was a great way to wrap up our time in Melbourne and we were more than ready to get back to Perth and continue the Our Naked Australia story. We loved seeing our family and friends but our journey is nowhere near finished. The best part is still coming – Broome, The Kimberley, Darwin, Uluru! We cannot wait to get out there…