Gill & Hans, 17th November 2021
One of the things that make being a celebrant such an incredibly special job, is the opportunity to sit down and really get to know people.
The conversations we have in the lead-up to someone’s wedding are much deeper than your general, early chats with new people.
It is such a pleasure to hear people’s stories, to make space for people to look back at where it all started and also to talk about all the things they are excited about for the future.
I love hearing every story, being invited to share them with their community through ceremony and then sharing little snippets of each couple’s beautiful, unique life together here on the blog.
Today’s couple Gill and Hans have had big, life-altering news since they started planning their wedding and got married.
Please enjoy hearing about their special love and read til the end to gain so much perspective on life & love, and one-day loss too, through their lens.
How they met
There is a saying that ‘people come into your life for a season, a reason or a lifetime.’
When Hans & Gill found themselves working part time at a Chinese Restaurant alongside each other, it would have been easy to assume they were meeting for a reason.
When I asked how it progressed from working together to something more; Gill said ‘he just fell in love with me, what can I say!?’
Gill admitted she had a moment’s uncertainty in there; unsure she was ready for something to happen between them and things went quiet on the texting front for a few days. But Gill missed Hans terribly and that’s when she realised what had developed between them.
This was all 9.5 years ago now & in the time since they have created a full, happy life together.
What they love about each other
Hans admires Gill’s selfless & caring nature, her family means everything to her, as does quality time with friends.
Gill is generous, she will always go out of her way to help others however she can, sometimes to her own detriment!
Hans sees this tendency, so he takes on the role of putting Gill first, cos she doesn’t always do that herself, and she can pay the price for it.
Hans doesn’t want to see her in that stressed, stretched state & loves looking after her. They are a great team.
Hans loves seeing Gill’s effect on people. She has a friendly & welcoming personality, that makes people feel seen, heard, and at ease.
He also loves her sense of humour, which is similar to his, and they can laugh at anything together.
Gill described Hans as gentle & patient. She said he is very tolerant of her, as she is full of pranks and surprises.
Hans is very empathetic and understanding; she can always turn to him for advice, or to talk something out, and he is always equally invested in the outcome alongside her.
Gill remembers noticing, & being endeared by, how much of a gentleman Hans was towards everyone around him; she really appreciated seeing this and it told her a lot about him.
When Gill was unable to attend her cousin’s birthday party cos she was working and Hans happily went along with her family any way she knew that he was a part of the family in his own right. She loved knowing he was so comfortable with her family and she is just as big a part of his family. Neither takes for granted the special bonds they have with their families.
Gill also loves seeing the close bond Hans has with their dog Drea. Drea & Hans have their own thing going, that Gill knows she is not a part of.
They are really proud of all the ways they have grown and changed alongside each other. They are a great team, who share openly with each other & always try to better understand one another.
They are each other’s biggest supporters. Never has this been more important than in the last few months.
Marriage was never the focus for Gill & Hans.
But at some point ‘when we are married’ became a natural part of their conversations. Gill remembers hitting Hans with the big question randomly one day, and seemingly out of nowhere, when she just blurted out ‘are you ever going to propose?!’
Hans wanted to propose on Mt Oberon in Wilson’s Prom; he had some friends in his corner helping him convince their gang of mates that a trip to the Prom was a GREAT idea!
On the morning of the proposal, the weather was awful, windy & stormy, but Hans felt it was now or never.
As they stood atop Mt Oberon with rain pelting down, those in the know quietly started filming and those in the dark gasped as loud as Gill when Hans got down on one knee.
It wasn’t the proposal he had imagined but he wasn’t guaranteed another chance, and so he did it in this raw, real, rainy moment surrounded by their friends.
Between Hans proposing and the wedding day they originally chose, the pandemic began and Hans was diagnosed with Stage 4 Bowel Cancer.
A tumultuous time in every way, especially when you add in navigating hospital stays with limited visitation times.
When Victoria began to open up, and weddings were again a possibility, Gill and Hans opted to move their wedding forward a few months to fit in with Hans’ chemotherapy schedule and to a week where he would be feeling well enough to enjoy it.
It was a perfect mid-week day, everyone happily took time off work to be with them; we had gorgeous weather, the ceremony was outdoors, and they were surrounded by family and loved ones.
They went back down the aisle to a sea of bubbles.
Like all newly married couples, even with this big challenge in front of them, Hans and Gill were excitedly planning for their future. They were ready to start a family, had plans of growing into a bigger home to raise their kids in and they had so many goals together; both the big and adventurous, and the small simple everyday moments that make up a good life alongside one another.
Their fresh, exciting new chapter into marriage was altered irrevocably when Hans was given the devastating news that his cancer is terminal.
All those plans and hopes have had to shift dramatically. With their incredible teamwork at the core, Hans’ beautiful, gentle and generous nature guiding everyone around him and the support of their loved ones they are finding their new normal and embracing every moment they have together.
After some convincing, Hans accepted the offer from loved ones to set up a GoFundMe campaign to support them with medical costs.
Such is Hans’ genuine nature, they have been incredibly transparent with how they will use the generous contributions they receive and Hans is committed to continuing to fight to find options to live longer.
If Hans and Gill’s story of love, hope and now, eventual, loss sparks something in you; reminding you of the fragility of life, in a time that should be all about new beginnings and fertile’s starts, I invite you to please share this blog post so that as many big- hearted people as possible, who feel compelled, can offer some support to this great couple.
Hans and Gill, thank you for sharing so openly and honestly about where life has taken you.
I have this saying that I resonate deeply with, it runs through both parts of my business, weddings and the unbelievable highs in that moment and also the harshness of the death space.
I often say to myself ‘These are the moments’ – in the good moments, the hard moments and also in the seemingly monotonous in between. Because each moment, right there, is the only one we are ever guaranteed.
Gill and Hans, enjoy all your moments together.
And lastly, if you feel drawn to – I encourage you to follow the link to Hans’ GoFundMe page and read the words he has shared about his illness and the challenges of being in the hospital system at this time.
Hans reminds us to always advocate for our health. He questions whether his cancer could have been picked up two years sooner, a vital reminder that we know our bodies best.
Thanks for taking the time to read til the end. You are a good sort.
These are the moments!
AN UTTER DREAM TEAM OF VENDORS WHO SUPPORTED GILL AND HANS TO HAVE THEIR DREAM DAY:
Venue: Immerse Yarra Valley
Photographer: Eerik Sandstrom
Viedeographer: Hey Jack
Cake: Story Tale Cakes
Florist: Forget Me Not Floret
Hair & Make Up Artist: J É D A V U Make-Up Artistry
Dress: Oleg Cassini