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This couple's wedding meant much more

Frances Hoffman and Anthony Caddell's wedding replaced a difficult year with pure joy.
Frances Hoffman and Anthony Caddell's wedding replaced a difficult year with pure joy.

WEDDINGS are generally the happiest day of many people's lives, but for Frances and Anthony, their joyful wedding at Amamoor in September wiped away a year of pain.

Frances Hoffman, 28, and Anthony "Tony” Caddell, 34, had the hardest year of their lives leading to their wedding day.

"Tony's daughter had a brain tumour removed only months before the wedding and to see that beautiful girl walk down the isle with a smile on her face was the proudest moment of his life,” Frances said.

"I lost two friends in a car accident only months prior and then one of my bridesmaids lost her little boy.”

Frances, an employment consultant, said their wedding day allowed them to be happy.

"That was the day we got to feel happy again. Free again and for a moment forget every little bit of pain we had felt earlier in the year.”

Frances and Anthony Caddell.
Frances and Anthony Caddell.

Tony, an equipment operator, met Frances through a mutual friend and have been together since 2013.

"A school friend, Melissa, worked under Tony on Ifley station when Tony was a head stockman and she was a jillaroo.

"We were both only meeting with intentions of being friends. We hit it off (friendship wise) straight away.

Tony initially planned for a secret wedding to surprise Frances, but she uncovered the plot.

"Tony had actually decided he wanted to surprise me with a wedding at St Marys by the Sea in Port Douglas, he had started emailing the chapel and wedding organisers in secret.

"One night he asked me to check his emails for something totally not related and there I found all these emails from the wedding chapel.

"I totally ruined his surprise.”

Tony and Frances knew they wanted to get married and welcomed a daughter, Layla, in 2014.

"We knew that we wanted to get married we just didn't have the funds to do it. The official proposal actually came after the wedding invites had been posted.”

Frances and Tony agreed on a date, September 3, 2016, on their property in Amamoor.

"My bridesmaids kept asking me if I was nervous but I can honestly say I didn't have a single nerve. Tony on the other hand had all the nerves.

"Our daughters walked down the isle first and then the bridesmaids. My big brother Ryan walked me down the isle, people were sitting on hay bales and I was walking towards the arch that my husband had built and branded with our family brands.

"The wedding itself was quick and Layla stole the show by dancing around and throwing hay.”

The wedding, according to Frances, was representative of them.

"Short and sweet - we didn't go traditional - we decided to say vows about friendship because that's how we met and that's how our relationship works.

"The reception was held in the open with lovely lights hanging from trees and strung across a grass dance floor, we had a DJ and it was right beside our goats who loved all the attention.

"The speeches were so welcoming and honest, my maid of honour who is not one for speeches, got up and had the whole wedding in hysterics as she handed ownership of me over to Tony.

"Tony and I bottled our own honey from for wedding gifts.

"The reception was laid back and because a lot of the guests were camping in our paddock it went on until the early hours of the morning.”

Frances and Anthony Caddell.
Frances and Anthony Caddell. Megan Runge

The couple, as well as their daughter Layla, travelled to North Queensland for their honeymoon. Using Mount Molloy as their base, which is also where Frances grew up.

"I got to take Tony to Cooktown for his first time and we stayed there and just enjoyed relaxing.

"Tony and I hope to one day gain some more property, and hopefully he can eventually come home and work. Tony would love another baby but the jury is still out on this one.

"Perhaps some more goats and a donkey instead.”

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