In this episode, we explore the love story of Aleisha and Rich, the lovers behind the Bridechilla podcast. Their love story started with happy coincidence and a witty Facebook comment. One thing led to another and they decided to start dating in a long distance relationship. After a few months, they decided to meet in person for the first time and had an amazing European adventure. The rest is pretty much history. Being together all these years has taught them that the journey of love can be a bumpy one and choosing love means cherishing each day including the highs and the lows. The story is narrated by Aleisha and Eddie.
Bridechilla brings a much needed perspective to the wedding industry, encouraging brides to focus on authenticity and facing the realities of getting married with a an arsenal of resources. You can check out the podcast on your favorite podcast player or on IG @bridechilla.
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Welcome to choose love, the podcast, the show that chronicles the extraordinary love of ordinary people. Our hope is that these stories will help inspire us all to Hashtag choose love. The podcast is presented by l and D Dera , your digital bridesmaid. We're here to take your squad moments to the next level and to help curate your bridal style so that you can focus on love. I'm Eddie Weisfeld . Now usually on the episodes I produce, I interview our guests and then I piece together their story. But this week we explore Alicia and Rich's love story and there is no way that I could do a justice. So here's their amazing story told by Alicia herself and joy .Speaker 2:
I'm Alicia McCormack and I am, what am I, a podcaster, author, comedian, entrepreneur, and by day I'm a TV producer. My lovely husband, rich is an architect and he also runs our business with me, which is bride chiller , something that I launched four years ago now after we got married and I decided that the wedding industry was a little bit bullshit. It was a bit one sided and confusing for so many people when they get engaged and they get all loved up and then they go to start planning and it can be really confronting and overwhelming. And when we were getting married, I found a lot of the information that was being shared with us, not that great, not that supportive. And a lot of the wedding media really was perpetuating so many of these messages. So when rich and I moved from Australia to London a about five years ago, I was getting a bit of a creative urge, a bit of an each, because I'd spent a lot of time doing standup comedy and performing in our hometown of Melbourne. And when we got to London and we set up our life here, I thought, you know what? I'd love to do a podcast. And at the time there was no one really doing anything in the wedding sphere. So I thought I'll just buy a microphone and just to talk, basically share our story, some of the things that I learned and then also find experts and interesting people to provide information that can help other couples. So it really started as a project that would have probably in my mind have gone for 10 episodes. But this week we released episode 372 of the show. So it's just been going and I'm so proud of it. So from there we basically have expanded the brand of bride chill out into ecommerce and merchandise and also books because to me it was a natural progression to be able to take the messaging and all the stuff that I've learned over the years of producing this show and put it in book form. So we have the bride Schiller survival guide, which is a long form wedding planning book. I then wrote the bride Schiller Field Guide , which is the field plan out that you can take out and write in . And it's got all these questions that you can ask vendors. It's a really helpful fill, a ratable plan up. And then recently I released the main chiller manual, which is our brides make guide. And that came from so many people in our broad chiller Facebook group and messages and people sending in questions for the bride, chiller Q and a episodes saying, ah , I'm struggling to communicate with our bridesmaids. I don't really know what to do. Our relationships are falling apart, I'm stressed, it's dramatic. And really it comes down to being able to tell people what your expectations are and share that with them. And I decided to put that in book form and create this really supportive guide for bridesmaid so you can gift it to them. They can learn a bit about what being abroad chiller and a made chiller means to the bride. Um, and then also it's a lovely book that Sassy and fun. So in short, that's what I do. Rich and I met on Facebook. We met in 2009 and we met by accident. We weren't out there looking the love on Facebook. It was actually a happy coincidence that we both had a mutual friend and we both grew up in Tasmania, Australia and Tasmania is a small island underneath the big island in Australia and Hobart. Um, the capital city is sort of like a big country town. It's a city, but a lot of the time people know other people. We've all got connections to each other in some way without sounding too vocal and colloquial. So I had commented on my friend's Facebook post and Richard also commented on that post and he had referred to a quote from arrested development and no one else in the thread got it. And I thought it was really funny and when I moused over his name, it said that we had 30 something mutual friends and I thought this is really weird. How do I not know this guy? We've got so many people in common. So it sort of kicked off from there. We started to talk a little bit and it came out that rich had just moved from Hobart to London and he was starting life there. He just got a visa. He was going to live there for a couple of years to work. And then his plan was to come back to Australia and do some further education and become an architect. And the more we chatted, the more we just connected. And I was like, man, it's just such a shame he's moved countries because I was living in Melbourne at the time. I was a comedy writer , um, for a really popular TV show. And I just thought, well that's a shame. But we started to chat and we even skyped a few times and when we skyped, it was just really normal. I felt like I'd known this guy for a long time and I think he felt the same way. And the more we started to talk, the more we both were really convinced that this could be something. So we sort of dated long distance for a while without actually meeting. And then it was decided maybe I should take a trip to Europe during the European summer in July. And I thought, you know what? Fuck it. I'm going to buy a ticket on my credit card and I'll have an adventure. And it just happened to be that I was offered a job. Well I went for an audition for a new TV show and they said, you got the Gig but you need to start in July, which is when I'd planned to go and visit rich. And this was in May. And they said, you know what, you could go now. You could go and visit this guy now or go on your holiday, but if you go in July, the job doesn't exist for you. So I called rich and I said, listen, can I come to London this week instead of in two months time? And he said yes. And so the adventure began. I arrived at Heathrow airport one early, very early one morning and he greeted me at the gate and it was just, it was just surreal. I don't want to like say it was magical. I mean it was amazing to meet this person that I've been speaking to for three months, four months in person. And I felt really connected to him because we had had this long distance, like old fashioned courtship where you write letters and you can't touch each other physically, but you feel like you've really gotten to know them. So it actually felt so familiar to be in his company and we knew so much about each other, but it was actually experiencing that, I don't want to say electricity cause that sounds gross, but just feeling that you're in someone's presence that you really like. And it was buzzy and exciting. So we spent the next month really living off our credit cards and , and having adventures. We went to France and hide a car and just drove. I mean it was all stuff that you imagine doing when you're like footloose and France fancy, free, you have nothing to lose. And it was thrilling. It really was. And we got to the end of that month and I turned to him and you've got to know I'm an only child. I'm very independent. I can absolutely exist on my own. And a lot of the times I'm , as I'm sure listening to this, you'd probably go, yeah, I agree with you. A lot of people annoy me. They shipped me as we'd say in Australia, and I looked at rich and I said, you know what? You don't shit me. You don't annoy me. We've just spent a month together and I haven't wanted to murder you. I actually really enjoy your company. And he said, Oh , you don't shit me either. So that's our romantic way of declaring our love for each other. And we did love each other and we do love each other. But it was one of those moments where I was like, man, if you can survive a month meeting your Internet boyfriend for the first time and you just feel like this could be the next big thing for you, then something's gotta be right. So I got back on the plane and it was really sucky to go back to Australia, but I had this exciting opportunity to experience. So he said, well now I can't in England. I've got to come back to Australia too because we can't do this long distance thing. It's far too long distance. So he stayed around for another couple of months to finish up his obligations in the UK and then he moved back to Australia and we moved straight in with each other and that was it. So that was 2012 and uh , next week we're about to have our seventh wedding anniversary. We dig each other. We're idiots. We're fellow Weirdos . But he's great. When it came to planning for our wedding, I think we both connected with the idea. We wanted something intimate, we wanted great food, we wanted it to include our design aesthetic that we both really enjoyed, which was sort of modernist architecture, which came from Richard's studies. He did eventually come back to Australia. He went and went back to university and studied architecture and now he's a full time architect. It's great. And we both really like that madmen look. We wanted something that wasn't themed, but we wanted to get married somewhere that represented that vibe. So we found a house , uh , an architectural icon in Melbourne, Australia called Boyd Baker House. It's a really sexy, sleek, Gorgeous House that you can, we used to be able to hire it for private events. So we found this house and then we built our wedding around it and it was the sort of place that didn't require really very much additions to the decor. It was all self sufficient. You had to bring everything in, you had to bring your own caterer. It was just a place. And I often use my wedding as an example of sometimes not things not to do when it comes to wedding planning because we took on a lot of work. We took on a lot of responsibility and at the time in 2012 so I'm saying it like it's like 50 years ago, but it wasn't really the done thing to hire a coordinator or planner or if you did you'd have to be like loaded. So especially in Australia, it's become a lot more of the thing to do now. But I really regret not having someone on board to help us run the day because we'd planned it really well. I'm a TV producer, I am a really good logistics person. That's part of my job. But I also found that, you know, instead of enjoying the getting ready process with our friends, which I did to some extent, but also we were still doing a lot of stuff the morning of our wedding. And I often go back to that and say to my listeners, just invest a bit of money to have someone come in and really help you manage those details and manage the timeline and the logistics so you don't have to do it. So that's the big lesson that I often repeat from our wedding. As I said, food was super important to us. We found a fantastic caterer who really created a menu that was using a lot of local produce and we found wine and um , bubbles from places that we really enjoyed drinking. So we invested our money in things that were meaningful to us and really the concept of pride chiller and what has expanded into our whole brand. And business now. And the ethos, I suppose even more importantly is about choosing things to invest in and invest your hard earned money and also your expectations into things that you actually want, not what the wedding industry, air quotes says you need like chair covers or special gifts for fricking everyone. We wanted this to be a really enjoyable day for us and for our guests and we wanted it to reflect who we are as people and as a couple. So it had heaps of humor. We didn't want to take it too seriously. I mean we took the, we took the wedding ceremony really seriously and our commitment to each other, but we wanted it to be a fun party and we didn't want to feel like we were wearing the weight of tradition and all of the expectations that you are going to follow the plan that everyone else followed. So it really did inspire what we've gone on to build and the messaging that I repeat every week in different ways about finding the plan and finding the vibe and the meaning in everything that you do to create a fabulous, meaningful celebration. And not feeling this pressure to go while everyone else does. Everyone else does this thing, so we need to do it. I just, it doesn't interest me and I think it's the, you know, I don't want to say it's the one day in your life, but it's the, it's a, it's a day in your life that you invest a lot of energy and thought and love into. You should be able to do whatever the freak you want to do with it. When it came to our wedding ceremony, we took it really seriously and I often say on the bride chiller podcast , so many people go, oh, we're just planning the party. It's a party. It's the party. And then they forget about how important their vows are and how significant it can be and also just setting the stage for the rest of the event. If you really put the time and energy into working your vowels and the ceremony and making it you, making it truly reflect you as a couple, it can really shape the whole event. And the wise wonderful thing that happened to us after the wedding was our friends saying, God, we really enjoyed the service like we were. We were really captivated by it. We thought it was fun and it was totally you. And I remember saying to rich, God, that means more than saying the food was great or we enjoyed the cake or the party was fun because for us the wedding and should be for everyone. A wedding is about standing in front of your family and friends or witnesses or whoever you choose to invite and declaring your love and commitment to this fellow widow that says that they love you and you love them and you put up with all the weed stuff and they put up with all your weird stuff. So really that's what you should be saying when you're up there, whether you're in a church or a park or a beach or whatever, you should be able to say what you feel. And I know a lot of people find it really hard and it feels challenging to open up and it doesn't mean you need to be [inaudible] because we are not [inaudible] people like our way of communicating. That was through humor and it really worked for us because I'm a comedian and I think we're both funny people Rich's quite dry. And then we chose to have our friends do pretty unconventional wedding readings . We had one reading by Woody Allen and another reading by Jerry Seinfeld and they summed us up really well. So , um, also our celebrant was a lovely , uh , lady called Vanessa, who is also a comedian and a television writer and she's amazing and she just brought so much energy and put so much effort into writing a wonderful order of service that kept everyone on their toes but also was just so emotive and special to us choosing love every day. What does that mean to me? I think for us, we are not overly romantic people or people that have to gift each other things at every possible moment. And we often, I think friends see us as a bit of, you know, oh they're a bit killjoy because our wedding anniversary will go by and we ha we just got happy anniversary nursery . And that's sort of it. And I think it comes from this idea that I really look at every day with rich as something that is just a gift. And that even through the seasons of life that we all go through where you can have ups and downs as a couple, you can feel tired, you can look at your other person and go, if you talk once more I'll scream . And then the next day like, Oh God, I love you so much. You are just the best thing ever. And that's to me what love is love is about being with this person, sharing a journey. And this journey might be bumpy, but sharing this journey together and being able to do things like launch your business from your kitchen table because one person's come up with this idea and the other one's like, all right, we've both got full time jobs and you need help. And I think I can help you. Let's do it together. And being able to turn to that other person, rich , my husband and just go, oh my God, we're good . We're doing this together. We're going to run a business as well as running full time jobs and feeling like complete lunatics most of the time. And then him going, of course we're going to do this. He crazy. We'd built for this. We can make this happen. We're a team. So for me choosing love is about teamwork and it's about really supporting the other person and understanding that you know, things are going to be fabulous, things are going to be challenging. But in the end you have chosen each other and and all you can do is communicate well, put up with each other's stuff, celebrate all the good times. Often people ask me, Oh, so you do wedding podcasts? Are you a wedding planner? Are you in the industry? And I'm like, oh my God, no, no. I have deep respect for vendors, especially wedding planners and coordinators who just work their asses off to make things happen. And I think if that was me, I'd go full. Troppo. So I like to say I'm like the lay person. I'm learning with my listeners and I just try and empower them with all this information, not overwhelm them but give them the information to make the decisions that work for them when it comes to planning their wedding and also all the peripheral stuff that sometimes surrounds wedding planning. But the wedding industry and the wedding media really ignore like mental health and body image. You don't pick up a wedding magazine and he about depression and wedding planning or thinking about mental illness and guests or figuring out , um, a positive way to talk about bodies that aren't referring back to sweating for the wedding. And this, this concept that we're all going to change because it's a party and you're planning a wedding so you should get thin, which I just feel like is so exhausting and especially when you get engaged in , you hit, I'm engaged on Facebook and then straight away you are just like bombarded with advertisements to change your body image, to Whiten your teeth to look different. Because when it comes back to it, your partner has chosen you and you have chosen your partner because that's who they are and you love them for who they are. They're not expecting some sort of freakish transformation at the end of the aisle because Facebook has served you an ad. And it really bothers me that a lot of the wedding industry still perpetuates a lot of this stuff. So pride chiller is a really positive place. It's optimistic, but it also kicks ass when it comes to saying we're not going to put up with all of that. We're going to block it all out and we're going to instead focus on providing information that's helpful and it makes us feel good and also gives us the power to say, and I want that person to come to my wedding. I want people to come to my wedding who I love and enjoy their company. I don't want a fake smile and feel that I've invited them out of obligation. I want to be able to provide information about budgeting and working together as a team. So I get money experts on the show. I've had so many interesting guests and we talk about so many things that aren't necessarily directly wedding related, but when it comes back to it, we'll give you all the energy and great vibes and information to plan your wedding and also work on your marriage and relationships into the future because why a wedding if it all just falls apart because you've been focusing on planning a party instead of thinking about what you can do to mature and strengthen your relationship. So that is bride chiller. I would love for you to listen if you are new to wedding planning, even if you're old to wedding planning and you may be working in the industry and you want a different take on things. I've got so many vendors that listen who have written and said, Alicia , she changed my perspective on something and I'm always like, yes, yes, it's exciting. There are over 370 episodes of bride chiller available wherever you get your podcasts, just search for bride chiller and they're all free. If you're looking for an episode to start out with, don't feel obligated to go back to episode one. But the best intro episode that I recommend is 286 episode number two 86 is the fuck it bucket. It was something that I was inspired to record after I read a reddit thread, which was referring to this thing called the fuck it bucket. And I'm like, this would work really well in weddings. Um, and they were, people were saying, what would you put in the fuckup bucket? What are the things that you throwing away that you don't feel obliged to do it for your wedding? So I wrote a big long list and this is the episode. It's all about just stuff that you can let go, that you can shake off that people don't notice if they're not happy, if it's not happening at weddings or it's like, it's like all the DIY projects that you're never going to finish, just let them go, put them in the fuckup bucket and watch them burn. So that's, that's where I'd say to start two 86 also, if you would like to learn more about my books, you can visit bride chiller, store.com. All of our books are independently produced and published. That really means in short term, I wrote them rich design them and we had them published ourselves. We've invested into Aaron business because we saw it as a way to Breely produce the books that we wanted to read. We didn't want to be guided by a big publisher who was telling me to change my wording and remove swearing and that it should be a bit more floral and pretty. So I thought, no thank you, let's do it ourselves. So we're really proactive people. We learned very quickly how to do it all. We put it together, we invested our money, we found a printer and Bob's your uncle. We're now an independent publishing company, so we've produced three titles. Um, and you can find them all at bride chiller, store.com. So thank you so much. This has been fun. I've enjoyed talking about love and uh, sharing a little bit about bride chiller and what I do. And thank you so much for including me. And I'd like to end how I end all of my podcasts. And this is actually what our business is called. Happy days.Speaker 3:
[inaudible] .Speaker 1:
Make sure to check out the bride chiller podcast. It's available on all major podcasting services. For more information on that show, visit www dot [inaudible] dot com thank you so much to Alicia and rich for sharing their amazing love story with us. And again, thank you to Alicia for telling it so beautifully. This is choose love the podcast brought to you by Ellen Indira , your digital bridesmaid. I'm Eddie Weisfeld and thank you for listening.Speaker 3: