CANDIDA Hiri struggled to hold back tears of elation as she walked down the aisle on the arm of her father and realised she was about to marry the love of her life, Damian Johnson.
“It just hit me all of a sudden that I was getting married and I was going to be Mrs Johnson and marry the man I love,” Candida said.
The couple’s wedding ceremony was on Catseye Beach on Hamilton Island in front of close family and friends and their three children — Kayla, Campbell and Amber.
Candida’s dress was a simple strapless creation purchased at Dubois Boutique in Warrnambool.
She fell in love with it the minute she tried it on and was amazed to find it was a perfect fit.
It was complemented by Candida’s long diamond earrings, a gold diamond bracelet and a bouquet of white lilies with orange orchids through it.
Candida and Damian met at the Hawkesdale Hotel eight years ago.
Damian proposed in front of the couple’s three children and Candida happily accepted.
“Damian took me to the new cafe in Warrnambool. He made me and the children go up to the balcony and asked me to marry him and I said ‘yes, of course’,” Candida said.
The two bridesmaids wore rusty orange knee-length dresses and the groomsmen wore black pants, white shirts and rusty orange ties.
The outfits were topped off with an Aussie staple footwear — thongs.
The reception was held at Mariner’s, a seafood restaurant on Hamilton Island, and was attended by 25 people.
The couple was delighted with their destination wedding, saying it was a magical place to get married.
“It was quite stress-free, my wedding planner did everything, we just had to turn up,” Candida said.
You can vote for the Johnsons or any of the other 18 Wedding of the Year entrants from June 8.