Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Wedding Cake

When I hear someone is going to a wedding, I always put in a special request for a photo of the cake. Why? Because wedding cakes are a special breed of their own! I made my own wedding cake, and you can head over to my Kitchen Alchemy blog http://kitchenalchemy.blogspot.com/2005/09/wedding-cake.html to read the story of that.

But here's the final product. My cake comes with a sad story - I used a beautiful cotton voile throw I embroidered for my Year 9 major work to cover the cake at the reception during the ceremony. And that's the last time I saw it. It simply never made it home that night. I continue to lament its loss.

Sunday, February 05, 2006

What She Wore

I had a modest sized budget for my wedding dress, but when Mark and I found ourselves in a formal wear factory outlet, we thought we might just stumble on a bargain. We settled on an ice white satin halter neck corset top and matching A-line skirt for the grand total of sixty-four dollars! I decided to hand bead the top - a task which took four months to complete and caused quite a bit of arthritis! The veil is also my own creation... it cost a fraction of the price of a commercially produced one.

All Dressed Up

I've known Jeannette (aka Sunshine) for over 13 years. She was the natural choice when it came to selecting my best woman. Her main job was to be my witness, but she also did an extraordinary job of talking me off the ledge many times during the very tense lead up to the big day. That dress she's wearing - she only got it the week before the wedding. But that is a tale for another blog...

The Little Details

At the wedding breakfast my mum decided I should have some sparkles to wear with my dress. Slipping into the old category was a gold bracelet she loaned me. Something new was the gold bangle she thought went with the bracelet. Something borrowed - well both those items were. And something blue - a gold and sapphire ring which she decided to give me on the spur of the moment.

Get Me There On Time

When it came time to head off to the ceremony, I couldn't get there fast enough! I booked a white Holden Caprice to ferry Jeannette and I to the ceremony. Unfortunately, our driver was five minutes late because he couldn't find the entrance to the hotel carpark. Then we were delayed again when he couldn't remember where he parked the car! When I see a bridal car on the way to or from a wedding I always toot the car horn in acknowledgement. Amazingly, not one car we passed on the way to my ceremony tooted - hugely disappointing. Let it be a lesson to you all - toot any bride you see as she passes and she will feel like the Princess she is!

Wandering Minstrel

As guests gathered in the park, my uncle, Yuri, a very talented musician, serenaded them with music. We weren't allowed amplified music, so he wandered amongst the crowd with what I think is his mandolin playing what may or may not have been Handel's The Four Seasons (I wasn't there so I'm not sure!). Everyone said it added a delightful and special element to the ceremony. Mark and I were incredibly honoured that Yuri played for us.

Friday, February 03, 2006

Waiting To Exhale

Mark was at McKell Park well before I got there. Despite my family contingent being significantly larger than Mark's he played the elegant host, doing his best to hide his nerves. His parents no doubt helped keep him calm.

The Victory March

Jeannette led us into McKell Park as my uncle, Yuri, played the Star Wars Victory March on his clarinet. It's the music you hear at the end of A New Hope when Luke, Han and Chewie go walking down the aisle to receive medals from Princess Leia. I love that music. But thanks to the adrenalin overflow at that point, I only heard about every third note. I mistakenly thought Yuri was playing some whacky Balkan music - which was more than possible!

Here comes the Bride

I always thought my dad would walk me down the aisle on my wedding day. As it turned out, that's not what happened at all. Firstly, there was no aisle - it was a garden path. And secondly, my dad passed away in 2001, long before I ever met Mark. He and Mark would have enjoyed each other immensely! So I asked my mum to walk me to my wedding. I think she was quite nervous, but she sure doesn't look it here.

Gather round

Everybody gathered around as the ceremony began. Mark had already had a chance to eyeball our guests. But only having just arrived, I had no idea who was there, so I scanned the crowd from right to left, beaming the whole time, just happy that so many of our friends and family had made it. Especially Paul, his wife Emma, and their new baby, Thomas. That's Emma tending to Thomas in the foreground.

Do you take this woman...

Standing there looking at Mark, I could hardly believe we were getting married! It was such a surreal experience, which in retrospect, we wish we'd had the sense to record on DVD. Thank goodness we worked so hard to get the words for the ceremony right, because I heard virtually none of them as Bridgid, our civil celebrant, read them out. Interestingly, Mark got to say "I do", but I didn't. The context seemed all wrong, so I ended up saying "I will".

Reading One: Pauline

My sister Pauline came forward to do the first reading in the ceremony. This is quite a popular reading - and very profound in many ways. So when we heard that Pink also used it in her recent wedding ceremony, we understood why. Here are the Prophet Kahlil Gibran's words, which Pauline read on the day:

Love one another, but make not a bond of that love. Let it rather be like a moving sea between the shores of your souls. And stand together, and yet not too near together. For even the pillars of the temple must stand apart. Remember that love gives nothing but from itself. Love possesses not, nor would it be possessed, for love is sufficient unto love. And think not that you can direct the course of love. For love, if it finds you worthy, will direct your course.

Reading Two: Renae

For our second reading, we asked Renae, Mark's sister, to do the honours. Here are the words by the Reverend Carl Thitchener's that she read:

We celebrate the love that brought Pet and Mark to this day. May their house be a place of happiness for all who enter it, a place where the old and the young are renewed in each other's company. A place for growing, a place for music, a place for laughter. And when shadows and darkness fall within its rooms, may it still be a place of hope and strength for all who enter it, especially for those who may be entrusted in their care. May no person be alien to their compassion. May their larger family be the family of all humankind. And may those who are nearest to them and dearest to them constantly be enriched by the beauty and the energy of Pet and Mark’s love for each other.

We were made...

Originally Mark wanted "If You Want My Love" by Cheap Trick sung at our wedding. But after I lined up someone to sing that song he started complaining that he only ever meant it as a joke. At the last minute I asked our good friend, Ruani, if she would sing a jazz interpretation of "I Was Made For Loving You" instead. Since Kiss is one of Mark's favourite bands, this turned out really well.

Signing The Register

I was incapable of signing my name the same way three times on my sister's wedding documents. Luckily, forewarned is forearmed - I got it right for my own wedding. And Mark - well making a squiggle isn't that hard so signing the marriage register was a breeze for him.

And Then We Kissed!

The prospect of a big post ceremony snog was important enough to see me testing every so called "kiss proof" lipstick on the market. In case you want to know, Cover Girl was the best!

The Proud Parents

What can you say about parents at a wedding? They are almost always as proud as punch, and ours were no exception to the rule. Here we are with my mum, Daphne, my step-father, Vic, Mark's dad, Keith, and his mum, Pam.

Caught In A Moment

It was hard for me to get used to wearing a bridal veil. It was more of a decoration than something that had a practical purpose. But there's something about a veil that declares without reservation: "Special! Bride!". I was glad I wore it in the end.

Wedded Bliss

Throughout the ceremony both Mark and I found it very difficult to take in what was going on. It was a total sensory overload! The excitement of getting married combined with the enormity of the commitment we were making to each other as well as the sheer beauty of the day and the surrounds, made it really hard to stay in the moment. We just had to stop every now and then to try and take it all in.

The Pressure's Off!

The lead up to the wedding was so intense, it was really only after the ceremony that we started to feel like we could kick our heels up.

The Reception

We held our reception at Paddington Bowling Club, which is just around the corner from our home. The delightful thing was, in the five months between our booking the venue and the day the wedding actually took place, the Bowlo undertook a lot of rennovations to the room. The end result was a light, airy reception that provided a perfect backdrop for our blue and yellow colour scheme.