Real Life

REAL LIFE: These two amazing nans joined forces to make sure their grandchildren's wedding was extra special

“The first person I told was Nan.”

By Mitchell Jordan

Aleesha Davis, 29, Mildura, Victoria, shares her story with Take 5's Mitchell Jordan:

Walking into the change rooms, I stopped in shock at the sight of a handsome man taping his thumbs before his footy game.
I'd just finished my netball match and had left something behind, so I hadn't expected to see him.
The bloke, who introduced himself as Daniel, had a cheeky sense of humour.
He's an idiot, I thought, laughing off his funny remarks.
But when our paths crossed at the bar after his game was over, I couldn't ignore the butterflies in my stomach.
We got talking and from that night, we were inseparable.
The first person I told about Daniel was my 89-year-old nan, Aylis.
As a child with my nan. (Image: Supplied)
"I'd almost given up hope of you finding love," she said, admitting her relief.
I talked to her about Daniel so much that she gave her approval even before they met.
"I can already tell he makes you happy," she said.
Showing her his photo helped seal the deal, too.
"If I were 60 years younger, I'd give you a run for your money!" she chuckled. "Daniel's a very handsome man."
I knew Nan wasn't just joking.
With Nan and Granpa. (Image: Supplied)
Back in her teens, she and her twin sister, Phylis, had both attended a ball with their boyfriends.
But after meeting a man named John, Nan was so smitten that she dumped her beau to be with him on the spot.
She and my pop, John, married not long after and had seven kids.
They'd lived on a farm until Pop passed away, age 89. His death was hard on all of us – especially Nan.
Not only had they been soulmates but she'd lost him just days before they were due to celebrate their 65th wedding anniversary.
When I finally introduced Nan to Daniel, she immediately thought of her husband.
"He reminds me of your gramps," she said approvingly. "He's got the same mannerisms."
Nan and I have always been close. (Image: Supplied)
After six months together, Daniel and I were watching TV one night when he stared at me and pulled out a diamond ring.
"Will you marry me?" he asked.
I was speechless.
"Are you sure?" I stammered.
In my heart, I'd always known Daniel was the one for me – I just wasn't certain he felt the same.
Daniel explained how he loved me so much he'd planned to take me out to dinner and propose later that week, but as the days dragged by, he couldn't wait any longer.
Our families were thrilled, though as COVID continued to spread, the thought of having a big family wedding seemed more unlikely.
Suddenly, I had an idea.
Saying 'I do'. (Image: Mildura Photography)
"Let's just elope with our nans," I suggested to Daniel.
He was equally close to his grandmother, Margaret, and was all for the idea.
Not wanting to put anyone's noses out of joint, we asked our grandmas to keep it secret.
Nan worried Mum would be upset, but I assured her it'd be okay and we'd hold a large party later when it was safe to do so.
"But there's one more thing," I began, "I want you and Margaret to be my flower girls."
Buzzing with excitement, Nan set about making two bouquets which she brought to our wedding at the rose gardens of Old Mildura Homestead.
"I'm so proud of you, love," Nan said on the day.
It was a party of four! (Image: Mildura Photography)
Daniel and I said 'I do' in front of no-one but our nans and the celebrant, before sending the video to our family.
Surprise! I wrote.
They were all shocked but took it well, considering the circumstances, and were pleased that our grandmas got to witness something so special.
Months have passed now and every day is bliss for Daniel and I.
We do hope to celebrate with everyone soon, but for now I have no regrets about Nan being one of only two guests at our wedding.
She means the world to me and her presence made my special day truly magical.

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