Note: I apologised that this has taken so long to upload – but when youre without Internet it makes it difficult.
A late summers day.
A decision was to be made.
A life changing event to be planned, organized and carried out in a few months time.
I had always wanted an outdoor wedding. But with the combination of friends weddings, engagements and school holidays all having their part to play, the outdoor wedding would be situated in the heights of winter in the centre of Wellingtons infamous southerly.
Yet it had to be.
The ring had been a dropped hint from a website link I found in my Inbox. As soon as I had made the decision in my own mind, I went online to order. I watched as the money subsided from my account, and I waited for confirmation of my order.
Waited some more.
Eventually I sent an email.
4 weeks after making the order i resorted, in pure distress, to venting my frustration on Twitter and Facebook. The day I was intending to propose had been and gone, and every day that went past without the ring was using up precious planning time for the big day.
A friend living in the US offered to call the company to work out what was going on and find out why its taking so long without any word from them. It turns out that emails they had sent to me kept on bouncing back to them, but that the order had been made. They were expecting it to arrive in from Ireland in the next couple of weeks.
2 weeks later, I got a phone call from Fed Ex. My package had arrived in the country. I was overjoyed as I knew the QPD (Question Popping Day) was on the horizon.
However, because of the value of the ring, I needed to apply for an Importers Code. That process was rather easy, but would take a few processing days. I then got an email from customs asking why the importers code and the passport had different names. I assumed that the issue was between the use of my full name, and my shortened name of Al. This added to more frustration and the fact that I just wanted the ring!
As it turns out, Fed Ex had put the wrong importers code with the wrong package – and hence the issue with different names!
All I had to do was wait for the package to arrive. Mum was to sign for the package on Tuesday when it arrived. And to add to the drama, she popped out for 15 minutes, and it was then that Fed Ex decided to knock on the door.
It didnt matter. It was Vickys Birthday and I wasnt going to propose on her birthday.
I did however ask for her hand in marriage from her father. It went a lot easier than I thought. Although getting him alone when her Mum and Jenn werent in earshot was another matter. As it turned out, they both had more of an idea of what was going on than either of us two males!
It was Wednesday when the ring arrived.
It was on the way to dinner at Fishermans Table in Plimmerton on Thursday night that I proposed.
I’d just had a meeting with another friend, and used it as an excuse to pull over at the top of the Wainui hill.
Vicky thought it was a bit weird, and probably even weirder when I went down on one knee and produced the troublesome ring that had taken almost two months to arrive.
Yes was the only word I wanted to hear.
Yes was the only word that parted her lips.
We carried on out to Plimmerton and enjoyed our meal as an engaged couple.
All along we didnt want people knowing. We didnt want the congratulations until afterwards. Of all the other 5 weddings we had been to in the first 6 months of 2010, we only took away one thing that we both agreed on – that we didnt want a big wedding. We wanted a small gathering of the immediate family only.
The ordeal with the ring had left us with 7 weeks to plan, prepare and organise the wedding. Luckily I had already been in touch with Wellesley College to book the venue.
Within three days, Vicky had her dress, I had the suit and we had sorted out the honeymoon details. Wed organised the photographer and the minister to take the small ceremony.
Thankfully we didnt have to send out invitations or make anything for the tables (although that was secretly carried out by Jenn and Ruth)
Within two weeks, we had sorted out the times, the wedding songs, the marriage certificate and the house wed be renting when we returned. In the weeks to follow we bought the bed, washing machine and fridge. The Saturday before the big day, both families helped us move in. It wasnt exactly perfect weather – but Id rather torrential rain on that day than on the following week. Vicky was to live in the apartment for the week leading up to the wedding.
The night before we were treated to hens party and the bachelor party. I only found out about mine a couple of days before. Stu had organised all the blokes who knew about the wedding to head out for a spot of ten-pin bowling. Vicky had all the women involved to play games and share in some good times before her big day.
The day arrived in glorious sunshine.
It honestly couldnt be better. In the middle of winter, it could only be Gods doing that we had sunshine for our outdoor wedding.
Everything went smoothly. Stu and I headed to Wellesley to set up. Glen arrived armed with camera and we took a few setup shots. Jenn, William, Louise and Ruth came and informed me that all was good to go. It was all excellent. Andrew and Tina arrived and offered their congratulations. To add to that, my school principal arrived to show people through the school, and he stopped briefly and assured me theyd keep out of our way.
My parents were running late, but arrived shortly before 11am.
Patrick had organised a beautiful classic cadillac for him and Vicky.
They turned up 10 minutes early.
I guess there wasnt much tradition in the wedding so far so why start now.
The rest they say, is history. The short ceremony could have limited hiccups, and we all played our parts well. Vickys dress was stunning, although the chill breeze was unwelcome, making it nigh on impossible for her to sign the register.
We stayed around for a few photos in and around the school and then again down on Days Bay Wharf. On a tight time schedule we were already a half hour behind.
We had lunch at the Angus Inn. It was perfect. Two families joined over a meal. After everyone had eaten, there was a couple of speeches. One from Patrick, and one from Bridget. It was nothing short of perfect and exactly what both Vicky and I wanted.
We left for our honeymoon in the glorious sunshine of the afternoon. Sun on our backs; we were married!
We would have loved to share this time with our many friends, from work, uni and church – but the only way we could keep the wedding small would be by excluding some people. We didnt want to cause undue hurt because we invited some but not others. So we excluded everyone apart from direct family.