''Why 2020 Was My Best Year Ever''
Marie Claire Australia|December 2020
For most of us, 2020 has been the year to block out and bury forever. But for a lucky few, it was a time marked by love, joy and triumph. As told to Cat Rodie
Cat Rodie

POPPY LISSIMAN, 33 “We got married on the last weekend before lockdown”

Harrison and I met eight years ago at a black-tie fundraiser. He was DJing and wearing the most ludicrous outfit: head-to-toe floral. He looked so fabulous and immediately caught my eye. We have been inseparable since.

Our wedding [in Perth] was scheduled for March, and when COVID started to ramp up in February, we wondered if it would impact the big day. We saw in the news that a Sydney wedding had ended up with 35 cases and didn’t want that to happen. We sent out emails asking people to reconsider coming if they were unwell. A few pulled out at that point.

More restrictions started coming into effect as the day got closer, and we realized that if our wedding had been planned for the following weekend we would have been forced to cancel.

On an actual day, I was cool as a cucumber. We’d had a registry wedding a few days earlier, so I’d been able to get the nerves out of my system.

After the ceremony, Harrison and I took the opportunity to run off together for 10 minutes. It was special – we got to soak it all in and gush about how much we love each other. We were both so stoked about how the day was going. It sounds so cliché, but it really was the best day of my life.

The energy at the wedding was incredible – I think because everyone knew it was the last weekend before lockdown and we would all be bunkering down after that. It was actually an amazing thing; everyone got this extra energy to keep going all night because no one wanted to leave one another. It was really magical – the perfect place for our friends to party like it was the last one of 2020.

Our friends from overseas were flying out in the few days after the wedding and there was definitely this feeling that we weren’t going to see each other for a long time, so no-one wanted the night to end. It really was the last hurrah – by the following week, all gatherings were restricted to five people.

I’ve had to miss lots of things this year, but it’s a “first-world problem” stuff. I didn’t get a honeymoon and missed several big work trips. But despite everything, it’s been an amazing year. I married the love of my life.

RACHAEL CASELLA, 37 “We’re pregnant with our miracle baby”

We lost our baby, Mackenzie, on October 22, 2017, to spinal muscular atrophy (SMA), a neuromuscular disorder. My husband, Jonny, and I are both carriers and we had unknowingly passed it on to her. She was just seven months old.

Since then we’ve struggled to have a healthy baby. We’ve had a lot of bad luck. We tried several IVF cycles, then had a break and conceived naturally. We fell pregnant with a baby girl but, devastatingly, she tested positive for SMA. We made the agonizing decision to medically interrupt the pregnancy. We named her Bella.

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