Yup, the father person and I have been married 16 years ago today – this is astonishing because I was never getting married I had a career! I remember telling the father person’s father that I was never getting married. He said: “never say never” and a week later I was engaged… Needless to say, since then I have been very weary of saying “never.” (Note to the mother person: warn kids to never say never!)
My excuse is that he pursued me relentlessly! Let’s just say he didn’t have it easy – he wooed me with chocolates and roses and movies. I thought it was great because I was never getting married and if he wanted to spoil me then fine!!! And it was fine! Very Fine!!!
I mentioned how we got engaged on a previous post called Se7en Significant Hikes… We took a few weeks before we were ready to tell the world and find a ring we both liked!!! But finally he took me out for pizza, to our regular haunt and whipped me down to the beach to go down on one knee: and offer me the ring… to which I said: “Hurry up it’s cold!”
We dashed home to tell my folks and my mom was all prepared… my Dad less so, “Who’s engaged?” “To who?” He got over the shock!!! The next day we went to work and took cake – one does for birthdays, babies and other significant events… like engagements… Well everyone was so impressed and congratulating the father person and pat’s on the back. And then they asked him “to who?”… and a mad scrabble in the papers and there was a stunned silence. Was this a joke? Remember I was never getting married.
Needless to say I got engaged and jumped on a ship and vanished out to sea for – about three months! I was a Research Scientist. And we radioed to and fro across the Southern Ocean and missed each other dreadfully. My traveling the ocean days were definitely over! And home to plan a wedding in less than a month…
Se7en Steps To An Instant Wedding, Student Style:
- Church and pastor: No problem, marriage prep classes well we could have upped the game there!!! The book we worked through was only about 20 000 years old and slightly um dull! But a means to an end and we survived.
- Gift Lists: Did you know that when you get married it is the done thing to have a gift-list… I was so appalled by this – asking for gifts, how low can you go!!! I put the cheapest flimsiest things on the list. What was I thinking? Well I was thinking of our student friends. Needless to say I wasn’t thinking of our parents friends who want to give newly weds great BIG presents. If I had to do it over (not that I ever will!!!) I would definitely up the anti-here: hello fluffy towels, crisp cotton sheets and pots (!) We bought our first set of three pots last month… I just survived 16 years of marriage and se7en kids with one pot, a pasta pot and a handleless pan!!! Yup I would definitely up the “gift list” without any shame. People actually want to give nice wedding gifts that you will like. Maybe not the plastic R10. (less than $1) spatula I put on our list!!!
- Not to mention the Dress: Now if you know me you know I am a jeans gal… and I mean jeans… But apparently it isn’t that acceptable to wear jeans to your own wedding. Well here I had a sneaky card up my sleeve! For someone who wasn’t getting married – hehe, I had had a picture of my wedding dress in my diary since about grade 7 and just transfered it from year to year. Hmmm, never ever getting married!!! Now I just needed someone make it for nearly nothing… and asked around till we found a friend of a friend of my mom’s friend… Sometimes you need to be resourceful! She made it. I loved it and for about a year afterwards I kept it pristinely in a box but ever since then it hangs above my bed to remind me of one of my greatest days!
- Appearance: Hmmm! I would have to do something about that! So A dash to the hairdresser a month before (I never went near a hairdresser in those days… hacked it myself!) and he did some foofi girl stuff and then I booked an appointment for the day and put the whole thing out of my mind! My poor mother-in-law took care of the make-up department. Any lessons I might have learnt I have quite simply forgotten.
- Kitchen Teas: Oh good grief I hate surprises and loathe all-girl events… If I had known I could have had a gathering of all our friends: girls and guys, in the name of a kitchen tea, I would have. Instead a couple of friends couldn’t believe we didn’t want an event so they had “secret” cocktail party – wahaaa it wasn’t a surprise at all and I spent a week agonizing over it (a wedding was nothing compared to this!). We really aren’t cocktail people – What were they thinking and by the time we got there we were so stressed out that the whole thing could have unravelled right there. I had learnt my lesson by the time we had a baby shower a couple of years later.
- Reception Venue: We wanted something outdoorsy and open. Only April can be a bit brisk! We went to have a look at all these “fancy schmancy standard venues” and they were just too well “plastic-fantastic” for us!!! Not to mention astronomical – we could have a had a wedding reception for maybe two – just us two! After a week of humble searching we had our reception at the local pub, a block from where I grew up. It had to be closed on a Saturday night because of local by-laws but they would open for a private party. We had a roast carvery dinner for nearly nothing – like a tenth of the price of the nearest offer!!! As long as we had our wedding really late in the day we could move on to the reception in the evening. They didn’t do dessert but we had a plan: There was a new frozen yogurt spot and if you bought two cups you got the third one free. So we went in and bought 80 ice-cream cups the day before. Dessert was done and and we didn’t have to worry about dishes… they came in handy little cups ready to go!!!
- The cake: I owe the father person for this one! I know that you need to involve everyone in the whole process so we found a task for all family members and we gave my mom the task of the cake. Neither of us like super sweet wedding cakes, and fruit cake is far from our best, so we settled on carrot cake and my mom’s was the best. Could she make a large carrot cake for us? She could but she also lost her nerve in her recipe and decided to go on a mad carrot cake trial. I left this poor son-in-law to be for months, and he had to go round on a daily basis to test the next installment in the trial. Needless to say by the time our wedding day arrived well we may have been a little carrot caked out and I don’t think either one of us has eaten it since!
The Actual Wedding Day:
- The Practice: This was actually the night before and just a run-through of who does what when. And we are going through the order of service and the pastor says: “And now you will kneel” And I am thinking of my dream dress and ummmm kneeling, well I may have been able to kneel but never on this earth would I have been able to stand up in it! So I had to casually mention that kneeling wasn’t really an option!!! Moving on…
- Getting to the Church on time: And remember I have all day… I went out for breakfast, very laid back and ambled into the hairdresser at lunch time… only to discover that the hairdresser had booked three other weddings (and their parties) on the same day. During my appointment. And I am never late. And at that stage in my life I never said “boo to anyone.” Well it got later and later and then later and I still had to do the whole make-up thing. Oh my word, no worries “slow and steady wins the race.” So in the days before cell-phones… I left my man and all our guests at the alter… had my hair done by the time the wedding should have started. Flung some make-up on. Flew into a frock faster than the speed of light and drove across four suburbs even faster. So I got there late – I won’t say how late but it was seriously late.
- My Father: Now remember everyone had a job and his was to walk me down the aisle. Well, for weeks I had told him just how to walk, slowly, elegantly, SLOWLY. I got to that church and I even mentioned that he needed to go slowly. I wasn’t in my usual gear and just this once I was calling for elegance. Needless to say I whizzed my dad down that aisle so fast he could barley catch his feet. There are actual photographs of me dragging my poor father down the aisle – I lost my head, what can I say! I just wanted to get the whole thing done. (So much for never getting married!)
- Gifts: So we we smiled our way through the wedding, we smiled our way through the reception, we just smiled and smiled!!! And then we popped over to my folks to drop some gifts off and then we couldn’t resist opening them and sat till about two in the morning opening gifts. Now that was fun and luckily people didn’t just get us plastic egg flips!!! And we were off for my first night in living memory to stay in a hotel. Why in the world would you book a hotel when you only going to get there by three in the morning?
- The Honeymoon: So we get to our hotel at three in the morning. The father person was so sick with a stuffy head-cold that he collapsed into bed and passed out from all the sinus medication he had taken. I, who had never stayed in a proper hotel before really wanted to order room service – but it wasn’t like the movies at all. No burger and milkshakes at three in the morning. Just a choice of two wildly extravagant platters. I opted for seafood and sat in this great white bed with a snoring new husband eating seafood and watching sport on TV – That’s marriage for you!!!
- Post Traumatic Stress: The most astonishing thing about the next day was that our faces were agony from smiling wildly for a number of hours the day and the night before.
- The Luggage: Now suppose you are on honeymoon but all you have been thinking about for weeks was your wedding. Well guess what I packed: Absolutely nothing. Now I always travel light but this freaked even me out – Nothing I packed NOTHING!!! This was a sign of things to come: I was very well prepared for my first labour and a lot less prepared for mothering!!! Needless to say, we survived our lightly packed honeymoon and parenting for that matter.
I’ll stop already… Just Happy Anniversary Father Person the fact that you got through that first day is impressive, 16 years later is really well done!!! Thank-you.