Sitting down on a picnic rug by the river, I felt my heart race as the man with twinkling eyes edged closer.
Peter and I had only been chatting online for a few days, but when work took me to his city, we decided to meet.
A quick coffee proved we had chemistry and our date soon turned into a seven-hour impromptu picnic.
"Let's meet again soon," Peter said.
I went home feeling totally smitten!
Both of us had been married before.
He was from Germany originally and had three kids, while I had four.
Our kids got along great and I could easily imagine us as one big family.
After months of dating, we were going out for dinner when Peter proposed on the way.
We hadn't been together long, but as far as I was concerned, Peter was the man of my dreams.
"No-one's ever loved me like you," I said.
We started planning our wedding, but with COVID, a smaller celebration was best.
My dad Bruce's 77th birthday was drawing closer.
"In Germany, we call that a double-digit birthday," Peter said. "They're really special."
I had an idea: what if we combined our wedding with Dad's birthday?
Peter was all for it – he and my parents got along so well.
As part of the surprise, we made Dad believe it was just our wedding.
As he was a volunteer at Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary, we could marry there.
"It's perfect," I said.
We decided that, in lieu of presents, we'd ask our guests to make a donation to the animal hospital.
And, as a nod to Peter's heritage, we included lots of pretzels and German beer on the menu!
Dad had even been learning German so he could welcome Peter to our family at the reception.
On the big day, the guests and Peter took a steam train through the park to the reception.
Then the bridal party and I boarded the train and made our way there.
Glimpsing kangaroos and other wildlife was amazing.
Our nuptials went perfectly: Dad spoke fluent German and we surprised him by drinking schnapps and toasting to his birthday.
He was gobsmacked!
"You're the love of my life," I told Peter in my vows.
Later, we posed for photos with the animals, smiling in the knowledge that our day had raised $5000 for them.
Since then, life for Peter and me has been great – he's brought his dog, Kenzie, a golden Labrador, who joins our dachshund, Teddy.
Last year was so hard, but our wedding brought joy when we needed it.
And I'm thrilled to have shared my special day with the two men I love most.