Posted 13 November 2008 - 12:43 PM
PART ONE OF THREE
PART ONE: Before The Wedding
To fully tell this story I have to give some background first. The weeks leading up to our wedding were rough to say the least. We found out that we had lost our son early in our second trimester less than three weeks prior to the day. I had what is known as a “missed miscarriage” and chose to wait it out naturally knowing that it could be weeks but thinking that it would happen before our big day. But he wanted to be there & he was.
A few days before the wedding my relatives from New Zealand flew over for the wedding. It was difficult but so great to have them there. Many of us got a virus only days before the wedding and some people had it on the day (including Mike). Two nights before the wedding I was vomiting on the hour every hour and was incredibly weak. It was crazy.
Fast forward to the night before the wedding. Mike stayed at his best man’s place with his groomsmen and they worked on his speech and drank and had a good time. My MOH stayed the night with me but I couldn’t move and needed my hair washed. We called our friend who is also the best man’s girlfriend around to help out.
All the groomsmen are Mike’s closest friends and high school mates and two of my bridesmaids are my closest friends and high school friends – Mike and I are high school sweethearts.
Anyway, my MOH and friend washed my hair in a bucket and cleaned me up and fed me soup. I was weak from the virus as well as miscarrying and obviously finding the whole process really hard but I couldn’t wait to marry my man.
I hardly slept the night before and neither did Mike. We had waited 2.5 years for this day and were both so nervous that things wouldn’t be perfect. We had no reason to be nervous, we picked AMAZING people to help in our wedding.
I woke up early and woke my MOH up with my stirring. “I’m getting married today” I said through a smile. We looked outside and the weather was looking great. We waited for my other bridesmaid and my sister who was a bridesmaid to turn up. I rang mum and asked her to bring milk and champagne.
I kept looking at the clock knowing that my hair & make-up team were coming around 8. At 8 I got a call on my mobile. It was Leah, my hair and make-up artist, completely lost over the other side of my suburb. We giggled and directed her here over several phone calls. When she arrived it all set in and the fun started.
It was a hot day so before long everyone had arrived (my mum, bridesmaids and two hair & make-up artists), the air-con was on, my three cats were outside hanging around close to the house meowing over all the commotion. One by one we took turns in the hot seat, getting curling rolls in and sipping champagne.
We all made jokes at each other and laughed so much. Before I knew it my hair and make-up was done. My hair had grown too much since the trial so we went with a totally different style but it was perfect. We started running out of time before our photographer was coming at 12 so the team worked quickly and when he arrived the girls managed to be in their dresses and ready to go! In amongst all of this we also had my nephew and my sister’s fianc� pop in and get themselves ready and join in with the craziness.
I hadn’t noticed but my bouquets had yet to arrive and just as our photographer started taking the first “getting ready” snaps my flowers arrived with the announcement “there has been a problem with the flowers”. I said “okay” as she explained that her freezer messed up last night for the first time ever and froze our bouquets so the poor thing had been rushing around to get new ones for the girls and trying to salvage mine and the flower girls. She did the best she could and I think they looked fine.
Mark (my photographer) was having a go at me as I pranced around in my short shorts and singlet like a loon telling him “don’t you DARE get a photo of me like THIS”. Up until that moment I had kept my dressing gown on. There’s a running joke in my family that I would get married in my dressing gown because I ALWAYS wear it. Yes, even in summer.
The hair and make-up team bid us fair well after busily packing up and the woman who made our bouquets kept apologising profusely and asking how I am (I had emailed everyone to let them know about my miscarrying) until I hugged her and said “it’s ok, I’m ok”. My mum rushed off quickly with a kiss afterwards with the button holes and some bits and pieces for the reception.
We were left with Mark who I think was a little overwhelmed at how loud and silly we were. The girls rushed me into my dress and Mark snapped away and got some great shots and some ridiculous shots as we roared with laughter over all our inside jokes. Over the next half an hour (12:30 – 1:00) Mark managed to get some lovely photos of the girls and me with the girls and loads of one’s of just me all artsy and so on. I can’t wait to see them!
When he rushed off for photos with the boys everything kind of died down and we realised we had half an hour until the limo was to arrive which was nice. We calmed down and I took pain killers for the pain I was experiencing from the miscarriage and we all talked about how amazing the day was and will be. But the limo driver had other plans and arrived 15 minutes early.
The limo driver was awesome. He carried my dress and set us all up in there. We couldn’t stomach anything other than water. The limo driver put on some classic 80’s and 90’s love songs and we all giggled and danced. The girls were a bit worried about me as I was losing a fair amount of blood but I was fine. I was getting married! I still remember talking to them about how we were going to walk and what to do. It was so cute.
Even after a 15 minute detour with the driver we managed to be super early to the venue. As the driver went to pull in to the venue he said “Now Rachel, this is your last chance, are you sure?” tongue firmly placed in his cheek. I said “Why not” and we all nervously laughed. People were still turning up! Mike’s parents weren’t even there. As we pulled up I caught a glimpse of Mike getting photos with his groomsmen and my heart melted. He looked so good and so nervous! I whispered “It’s OK babe” at him but of course he couldn’t see or hear me.
Mark ran over to the limo and got some shots of me through the window. Andrew, my celebrant came over and said he’ll see me inside and reassured me that he’d talked to Neill (a family friend who was amazing and organised ALL the music for the day and night and set up all the equipment – he’s an electrician) and my grandad (who walked me down the isle)
The limo driver organised a red carpet and helped each of us out of the limo, me being last. I couldn’t stop smiling as I realised how close I was to being a Mrs. My Michael’s Mrs. I walked calmly up the stairs and gave my grandad a hug and my bouquet. We were inside (in the reception venue where no one could see us) and I really needed to go to the toilet. My sister took me to the toilet (I had a triple hoop big dress… it was NOT a project I could manage alone).
We all lined up and I was beaming. It wasn’t something I could control. I could see everyone standing around and the day was so surreal, so magical. But I was so intrinsically “there” I was so aware and so vulnerable and happy. It was perfect. The music started playing and everyone waited until the first words were sung and the flower girl (Mike’s younger sister) walked out slowly.
PART TWO TO COME
I will also add photos once they come back
Posted 13 November 2008 - 12:59 PM
Posted 13 November 2008 - 01:11 PM
Posted 13 November 2008 - 01:13 PM
Hannah - 06/08/10
Posted 13 November 2008 - 01:28 PM
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Posted 13 November 2008 - 01:29 PM
Sorry it's such a novel!
Posted 13 November 2008 - 01:43 PM
Beautiful story and can't wait hear the rest
Posted 13 November 2008 - 01:44 PM
Posted 13 November 2008 - 02:34 PM
PART TWO: The Ceremony
I walked down the isle to Mariah Carey’s “Lead The Way”. Each of my bridesmaids walked slowly and nervously down the isle and I readied myself with my grandad and the involuntary smiling continued. We paused quite a bit before grandad and I came down the isle. Grandad took my arm in his and smiled at me and I tried my hardest not to cry. He is an amazing man and I love him dearly. I couldn’t think of anyone better to have walked me down the isle on my big day.
And if we move closer
Then love will take over
And lead the way
Mariah’s voice surged through me and we started stepping slowly out. I looked at Michael and saw he already had tears. My throat had a swelling of emotion caught in it and I focussed on keeping it together but was feeling it. My whole being was feeling it. He was too perfect. The day was too perfect.
Grandad mumbled at me to watch my step onto the red carpet and I giggled as I kicked my big dress in front of me and shuffled down the isle. I beamed at Mike and he beamed back and he got more tears. Every person I looked at had the same emotion showing… happiness. Unshakeable happiness.
My grandad gave me a kiss and told Mike to take care of me with a wink. My whole family loves Michael. He could do nothing wrong in their eyes. It makes me smile.
I got to the end of the isle and faced Michael. We mouthed “I love you’s” and I told him I wanted to kiss him. I couldn’t wait to kiss him.
Our celebrant began the ceremony. He said an adaptation of what I sent him which I’ll share with you:
In their belief, their union is based not only on mutual love but on the desire to work together for the development of a union of spirits, for their own personal fulfilment and for the attainment of mutual goals and ambitions.
Together they hope to discover truth in life. They intend to encourage each other to act according to what is best for their world, their children and themselves.
We're here because Michael and Rachel cannot live in isolation. The experience of their love touches all of us and it is fitting that we should celebrate their happiness. This wedding gives public recognition to the experiences of their love.
Throughout this all I did was look into Michael’s eyes and smile. The words were and are so true and mean so much to our journey. We did discover truth in life that day.
Our celebrant kept the ceremony light and it flowed perfectly. At one moment I just listened to the birds. We picked the venue for many reasons but one was the flower fountain and the birds. I love birds, I’ve always felt a connection to them. And on our wedding day a group of beautiful lorikeets came to bath and eat and watch and sing. It was so lovely.
Speaking with Michael since, we have both discovered how in the moment we were. Everyone says “did it feel like a blur” and no, not really, things slowed down and we embraced the now. We really felt it all together.
The day was utterly magical. It was hot but not terribly so. The air was very still and the sky was blue. Colours seemed more vibrant and the day had a certain ambiance. It was simply magical.
I could feel Ollie there. We both could. He was in everything.
Michael was holding my hands and we began the vows. I knew that I wouldn’t be able to hold it together. I wrote each word. Meant each word. Live and breath each word… and our journey is so special.
Surprisingly I kept it together through Michael’s vows and smiled through each sentence. I couldn’t see my bridesmaids but my sister assured me later on that she was crying and a couple of other’s had tears but it was mostly smiles.
I repeated the vows after the celebrant:
I, Rachel ***, take you, Michael ***, to be my husband,
my best friend and my love from this day forward,
In front of everyone here I pledge to be true to you,
to respect you and to grow with you through the years.
Time may pass, fortune may smile, trials may come;
no matter what we encounter, I vow here that this love will be my only love.
For eternity, you and I.
The swelling of emotion in my throat soared through me and I choked through the last three sentences and Michael’s face held our pain when I choked out the words “trials may come”… I just wanted to hold him.
When we exchanged the rings shortly after I giggled and strained to get Mike’s ring over his stubby finger. I said with a certain amount of childish happiness “it can’t come off now!” through laughter. I tried to kiss Michael after this and the celebrant grinned “you’re too eager Rach” he said and allowed an early ‘first kiss’.
We then had the following reading:
Rachel and Michael, please take each others hands...
These are the hands of your best friend, young and strong and full of love, that hold yours on your wedding day as you promise to love each other all the days of your lives.
These are the hands that will tenderly lift your chin and brush your cheek as they raise your face to look in each other's eyes, eyes that are filled completely with overwhelming love and desire.
These are the hands that will work along side yours as you build your future together, as you laugh and cry, as you share your innermost secrets and dreams.
These are the hands that will passionately love you and soothe you like no other.
These are the hands that will give you strength when you struggle, and support and encouragement to chase your dreams.
These are the hands that will wipe tears from your eyes, tears of sorrow and tears of joy.
And lastly, these are the hands that even when wrinkled with age, will be reaching for yours, still giving you the same unspoken tenderness with just a touch.
Together as a team, everything you wish for can be realised.
Michael and I squeezed each others hands throughout it and smiled as we realised how close we were to being announced as Mr and Mrs. “You may now kiss your bride” Andrew directed at Mike and we managed a big passionate kiss before the celebrant said “I think some people missed that" and told us to kiss again. Then in the blink of an eye there was cheering and clapping and we were walking back down the isle hand in hand. Our celebrant yelled before he left to all the guests “it is a tradition that if you want the newly weds to kiss at any time during the night you just have to clink your glasses”… I’ll so get him for that one day!
After that came all the hugs and accounts of how people felt. It was really nice. Shellsibelle (from i-do) came up and chatted with us and got a photo. She was amazing on the day and got the most photos out of anyone bar our photographer. I’ll be forever thankful.
The venue had set up a cute table for us to do all the signing and I sang along to “signed sealed delivered” by Stevie Wonder and gave Mike lots of smooches.
My celebrant had to run and I saw Mark taking snaps of certain things in the background. Neill played music and the venue started getting alcohol and nibbles ready as our guests sat mostly in the shade and talked and smiled. We had roughly 80 people there.
Michael was feeling pretty sick afterwards, partly because of the heat and partly because of the virus but he held up like a champ. Mark gave us half an hour after the ceremony so that Mike could get re-hydrated and we could spend some time with friends and family.
We then had the professional photos which I won’t go into on second thought. I’ll let the photos speak for themselves once I get them. I just emailed Mark so hopefully we’ll hear back from him and get them soon!
PART THREE TO COME!
Disclaimer: I’m not proof-reading this so it may be pretty muddled!
Posted 13 November 2008 - 02:53 PM
Your story is amazing and i can feel the love you both share through your words!!
You are amazingly strong!!
Cant wait for part 3!!
Rylan Max 3rd August 2004
Ashlyn Frances 25th June 2007
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Posted 13 November 2008 - 02:54 PM
Posted 13 November 2008 - 03:04 PM
Hannah - 06/08/10
Posted 13 November 2008 - 03:12 PM
Posted 13 November 2008 - 03:13 PM
Posted 13 November 2008 - 03:41 PM
Michael when he first saw me. Seeing the groom watching the bride walk down the isle has always been my favourite part of a wedding so this is for the women who are like me! It's hard to see but he's teary. He's told me since that as soon as he saw a glimpse of me he couldn't hold it back. Mike says that if he thinks about how I looked now he starts getting teary again. It's beautiful.
The flower fountain where the birds came to bath and feed and sing
First kiss and Mark working his magic in the background there.
Walking back down the isle... husband and wife.
In our own little world...
Giggling at the reception about to cut the cake.
In lip-lock like we were most of the day (and most of high school!)
My bridesmaids taking photos of eachother... and the food and the wine and the table set ups, the candles, the cake, the dancing and so on... They got so many silly funny photos I thought I'd share one! This is my maid of honour and best friend.
The boys. Mike's boys. Just bein' boys. I swear they ate three courses each. So thankful we had a buffet.
Michael laughing. Our cheeks hurt from smiling and laughing. They hurt the next morning.
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