Western Bulldogs AFL star Liam Picken and his now wife, Annie Nolan, welcomed in the New Year by getting married, surrounded by 200 of their closet family and friends.
The couple’s three children, Malachy, 4, Delphine and Cheska, 2, were a big part of the traditional Catholic ceremony which was held at St Patrick’s Cathedral in Ballarat on December 31.
The beautiful bride wore a J’Aton dress, while her flower-girl daughter looked cute in their petite Livre dresses which included influences from their mother’s gown.
Nolan came to public attention after she posted a tongue-in-cheek photo of her twins wearing signs which answered questions she was frequently asked when out and about with the children. The answers included ‘yes they’re mine’ and ‘yes, I am sure they aren’t identical’, the image went viral and was viewed more than two million times in two days.
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Western Bulldogs AFL star, Liam Picken and his now wife, Annie Nolan at their wedding, dress by J’Aton
Annie Nolan came into the public eye after a cheeky photo to pre-empt the questions that she is asked on a daily basis about her twin daughters Cheska and Delphine was published on her blog.
The bride was walked down the aisle by both her mother and her father who were just there for support as the couple believe the idea of being given away is outdated
The wedding party helped the couple celebrate their big day, and smiled through 37 degree heat for photos
Mrs Picken told Daily Mail Australia that planning the day with children in mind was hard, but the presence of the couple’s own children made the wedding even more special.
‘It was the best thing, the girls felt so beautiful and Malachy was looking his best,’ she said.
The wedding was held at St Patrick’s Cathedral in Ballarat, a decision made because of the bride’s strong links to the area.
‘I am the 7th generation Nolan to get married in a catholic church in Ballarat,’ she said.
‘But the biggest reason we got married there is so I could be with my brother on the day.’
Her brother died when he was 19, and is buried in Buninyong cemetery, near Ballarat.
‘I couldn’t ignore that he had passed away and I needed to see him on the day,’ she said.
The couple made a prayer for Mr Nolan, and had a photo of him in the church, but the new bride also went to his grave on her wedding day to place her bouquet.
The couple’s son, Malachy, (pictured) complained after the service saying ‘that was so boring mum’ but enjoyed the freedom outside
The couple’s children were an important part of their wedding day, the girls Cheska and Delphine (pictured) were flower girls and Malachy was the ring bearer
The couple pictured with their three children, Cheska, Malachy and Delphine
Family is the most important thing for the couple which is why both sets of parents were involved in the ceremony.
‘My mum and dad both walked me down the aisle,’ Mrs Picken said.
‘It is so old fashioned to be given away, that happened a long time ago when Malachy was born,’ she laughed.
‘They walked me down more as a show of support.’ Mr Picken’s parents were invited to give the couple their blessing during the traditional catholic ceremony.
The couple’s vows brought tears to the eyes of the 400 people who gathered at the church to watch them marry.
The cake toppers represent the reality of the family, ‘Cheeky Cheska’ sits at the bottom eating icing while her twin sister Delphine clings to her mum’s side. Malachy is show tugging on his dad’s arm as he is always pleading for him to play outside, Annie and Liam sit smiling trying to balance as ‘perfect cake toppers’
The girl’s dresses were inspired by their mother’s wedding gown and designed by petite Livre
Little Aussie Prems Foundation pins were handed out as party favours for the wedding, a way to support the charity which helped the couple through the birth of their twins at 27 weeks
‘Never have I known love as I have with you,’ the bride’s vows read.
‘Your unconditional support after losing Tom meant you were always prepared to stay up with me when I couldn’t sleep.
‘My tears never made you awkward but you would try to find ways to wipe them away.
‘You even stepped up to carry his body out of the church when others found themselves too weak with emotional pain. ‘You were there for me as I experienced the three greatest pains of my life: The emotional pain of the loss of my brother and premature birth of our girls, and also the physical pain of childbirth.
‘But above all else, I will love you until the moment I take my last breath, my heart beats for the final time and my brain is able to think of you no more. And if my soul is lucky enough to live on, I will search for you to let you know that I still love you.
Malachy stayed at the wedding all night after refusing to go home with the babysitter, the girls however were exhausted from dancing and left
Planning the wedding around the couple’s three children was difficult, but ‘worth it’ according to the bride
The girls danced ‘Angelina Ballerina style at the reception while their parents invited all of the guests up for their first dance
‘Thank you for loving me and thank you for letting me love you too.’
Following the ceremony Malachy made his parents laugh by exclaiming ‘that was so boring mum!’ as others walked over to congratulate her for a beautiful ceremony.
‘One person said to me that if someone had been watching our wedding and not known us they would have come out knowing exactly who Lee and I are, that was the best compliment.’
The party continued at the church hall next door where everyone not only celebrated the couple’s wedding but the coming of the New Year.
When the newly weds made their entrance, to Superfreak, they encouraged all of their guest to get up and dance with them.
‘Our support network is the most important thing to us we are so family and friend orientated and just wanted to share our first dance with us.’
The cake, by Boutique cake Art in Yarraville was a big hit with the crowd. It featured the bride and groom at the top, with their three children.
‘Cheeky Cheska is pulling off the icing, while Delphi who is very very clingy is hiding up with me,’ said Mrs Picken as she described the decorations.
The bride chose to be married in Ballerat so that she could be with her late-brother, Thomas, on her wedding day, and visited the cemetery to drop off her wedding bouquet
The couple had 200 guests at the reception but 400 people turned up to see them wed at the church
The mummy-blogger couldn’t imagine not having her three children help-out on the wedding day
‘Malachy is always tugging at Liam asking him to come and play footy so we had him hanging off his arm, while we tried to sit up straight and be perfect cake toppers.
‘The cake was beautiful it was white chocolate and raspberry in one section and salted caramel in another, some people told me they still have wedding cake in the freezer years later, mum ate the last piece of mine for breakfast this morning.’
The couples oldest child refused to go home with the babysitter so welcomed in the new year with the rest of the guests while the little girls left after ‘tearing up the dance floor Angelina Ballerina Style’.
Mrs Picken would describe her wedding as intimate in spite of the large numbers.
‘There was not a single person there I didn’t want to be,’ she said.
The couple met in what they have described as ‘the worst nightclub in Sydney’.
The bride described her wedding as ‘intimate with a lot of people’ and said it was perfect
She changed out of her wedding gown at 10 pm after wearing it through 37 degree temperatures, her second dress a Barianao saw her through to home time, and into the new year with her husband by her side
‘It was an intimate wedding with a lot of people, I have moved around a lot and we know a lot of people.
‘I have enough room in my heart for so many people, and I don’t think there should be a number on the amount of people someone can love.’
The New Year’s Eve wedding was planned at this time to work around the football season and training.
The couple won’t be taking a honey moon as they were in China for a month before the wedding, instead they are looking forward to moving into their new home on January 19.
The bride changed out of her dress at 10 pm to a shorter, royal blue Bariano dress, after wearing her wedding gown all day through 37 degree heat.
The newlyweds would like to thank everyone involved in their big day including the entertainment company, makeup and hair artists and MC.
Party favours on the day were pins from the Little Aussie Prems Foundation, who helped the couple though the birth of the twins at 27 weeks.
The newlyweds would like to thank everyone involved in their big day including the entertainment company, makeup and hair artists and MC
The couple won’t be taking a honeymoon as they recently spent a month in China and are due to move into their new home on January 19