With the countdown well and truly on for her wedding (with just days to go) – we couldn’t help ourselves but get Gritty Pretty founder and editor-in-chief Eleanor Pendleton in for this week’s Love Stories series.
From young love at a festival to a destination wedding, we hear from Eleanor her path from first meeting hubby-to-be Mat Wilson to what we can expect from the upcoming nuptials…
How did you and Mat meet?
Mat and I met at Good Vibes music festival on Valentine’s Day 2009. As soon as I saw him, it was love at first sight! His bright blue eyes won me over instantly.
Were you friends before you started dating?
Yes, we formed a friendship and began dating after a few months. There was definitely an instant attraction – I knew there was something different about him. And, after 9 years together and just days away from our wedding, he still gives me excited butterflies.
What did you do for your first date?
We were so young at the time (Eleanor, 20 and Mat, 22). Mat called me and asked if he could take me to dinner. He took me to the local Thai restaurant at Terrigal, where we were both living at the time. He was so shy during our first date – he barely spoke a word! I had to carry the entire conversation and I remember going home thinking, ‘Gosh, this guy just isn’t into me’. Luckily, he was – as I soon discovered he’s more of an observer than a talker – and now the rest is history…
What has been the most incredible thing he’s done for you that blew you away?
He blows me away most days. Mat is my biggest supporter! He champions me and encourages me every single day to be my best self and run my business to the best of my ability. He is my sound board for everything in my life. In terms of romantic gestures, we’re more about experiences than material things. Mat organised a surprise birthday dinner for me one year, which had me reduced to happy tears. And, of course, when he surprised me and asked me to marry him – I think that out-trumps anything! [Laughs].
Can you tell us about your engagement proposal?
Mat proposed on Saturday 2 April, 2016. We woke up in the morning and Mat suggested we go to our favourite café for breakfast followed by an ocean swim, which is our usual Saturday. After we grabbed some brekky, Mat took me to North Curl Curl headland where we found a quiet spot overlooking the ocean. It was just us and the sea. I was sipping my coffee and I hadn’t suspected a thing, and then suddenly the conversation became very heartfelt and before I realised what was happening – Mat asked me to marry him and pulled out the most beautiful engagement ring I have ever seen. I think I just burst into tears! I don’t remember what I said but I do remember Mat asking me, “So is that a yes?”. It was one of the best days of my life.
Any sneak peeks you can give us into what to expect from the wedding?
We’re on the final countdown now – I have just a couple of days left of work before we get married and take time off for our honeymoon. It’s going to be really beautiful and very intimate wedding (we’re having 50 guests) and the day will be full of all the things that matter: family, friends, good food, great music, and plenty of champagne. We can’t wait!
And three quick ones to finish off… how would you describe Mat?
The best man I have ever known.
How would he describe you?
I think he would describe me as driven, loyal and generous.
Thing you most love about him?
He makes me laugh most days!
All images: Eleanor Pendleton