(All photos by Erin King)
I’ve been putting this post off for over a month. Even though we’ve talked about the wedding endlessly with our families, it feels so hard to sum it up. I always thought it was hopelessly cliché when people say “it was the best day of my life”, but so far, it really was. No, not everything was perfect, but when I ignore those bits, all I can remember is wonderful.
Okay, so, I’ll try to keep it semi-chronological.
We chose a bridal party of six, long before the day. I chose my two sisters and my best friend to be my bridesmaids, Nathan chose his brother, my brother and his best friend to be his groomsmen. Neither of us wanted to choose a maid of honour or a best man because it felt wrong to elevate certain people instead of others, so Posie was my Dog of Honour and Rupert was Best Dog. They are, after all, our treasures. We did ask Sarah and Scott to sign the certificate for us though. The decision was fairly easy, because although Nathan only has one brother, we have four siblings altogether, and it seemed wrong to ask some but exclude others. We had one friend each, so that was perfect.
We rented a dog friendly apartment in Fitzroy and stayed the night before the wedding. Due to some disorganization on our part and a total failure to plan for peak hour traffic, we made it up to Melbourne at almost midnight. After getting into the apartment, getting settled and finally getting the dogs under control, I got about 4-5 hours sleep before kissing each other goodbye and heading for my Mum’s apartment on Flinders Lane.
We got ready, ate fancy chicken sandwiches and drank champagne. Something not very good happened that I might talk about later in the post**. One of my bridesmaids who shall not be named forgot her dress and had to make up an excuse to sneak back to her hotel to get it. There was a minor panic when a coat hanger left black lint all over my white dress, but it was fine.
One of the highlights of the morning was when the bouquets arrived. I know that every bride likes to think that her details were the best, and everybody will back that up when talking to the bride, but these bouquets were incredible. I’d been deeply involved in the planning process for these bouquets, and extremely specific about the exact flowers and colours that I wanted. Ranunculus, garden roses, dahlias, lavender, frilled tulips, sweet peas, hellebores, blushing bride, freesias, camellia leaves and sprays of gorgeous andromeda hanging gracefully. I wanted a palette of peachy pinks but with a lot of light and shade, and pops of raspberry. I also wanted to incorporate hints of yellow and lavender as highlights. And it all worked so well. I was so glad that I totally micromanaged this detail, because everybody loved them, and honestly, they were more gorgeous than any pinterest inspiration that I’d found.
That photo of the rings is so cool, but it’s actually a bit misleading – Nathan actually ended up getting married with a stand-in ring! He ordered an amazing wedding ring from America with three layers – dinosaur bone, meteorite and sparkly blue opal – but he ended up leaving it too late and it didn’t arrive in time. I’ll post another photo of his actual ring some other time. As for me, I loved the idea of mixing metals, especially because I love rose gold so much. My rings are different, but they work together really well – the little twist in the wedding band sits perfectly under the stone of my engagement ring. I love them… which I’m glad of, because I want to be wearing them for a very long time.
I always wanted a shorter dress – not exactly tea length, more like ballerina length, to show off my amazing shoes. I also wanted a pink satin sash, inspired by a line in the movie Hook (Peter Pan did not come to the wedding, that I know of), and a pink petticoat. I wore the sparkliest shoes in the world, a pearl necklace and earrings borrowed from Mum, and a beaded/bejeweled/pearl hairclip. Whether to wear a veil or not was a dilemma right until the eleventh hour, but I’m glad I skipped it – it felt like too much of a costume piece on me.
Sarah walked me to Treasury Gardens and we saw a brick red jacket in the distance, so we hid behind trees until we got the signal from my photographer. Then I walked up to the JFK Memorial fountain where Nathan was waiting for me. It was such a relief to see him – not because I thought he wouldn’t show up, but it had been a rough morning and sometimes you just need your person that is ‘home’ for you. We took some gorgeous photos with the puppies before they got too overstimulated and eventually walked to the registry office.
Then Dad walked me down the aisle and when I saw Nathan waiting at me and everybody turned to watch me, I cried. I never thought I would, but it just happened and it was so sweet. The ceremony was very short, which was exactly what we wanted. The three songs we included were “God Only Knows” by the Beach Boys as I walked in, “Playground Love” by Air while we signed things, and “Roam” by the B-52s at the end. We laughed and kissed and hugged and both of us said afterwards that it really felt like we were the only ones in the room. We were in such a happy, loved-up bubble. And Nathan totally teared up on his vows.
We had written our own vows, and I’m so proud of how much work we put into them. They were so personal, and although they had lighthearted moments, I really felt like they were the truest distillation of everything we were promising on that day. We both took the vows extremely seriously, and will forever, I’m sure. Right now, it feels too intimate to post them online, even though we read them to a room full of people… maybe in a while, maybe in another post.
Afterwards we took photos in Treasury Gardens again, this time with family and our bridal party. It got a bit exhausting. Especially after what had happened earlier in the day. I ran out of emotional energy and kind of crashed a bit. I wish I had been smiling more in some of the shots, but our photographer Erin did the most amazing job of making me feel at ease. And she got the dogs to smile like the little stars that they were. Photography was always a high priority for me in the planning process – I didn’t know at first that Erin did weddings as well as pet photography, but before I figured that out, I had probably looked at over a hundred photographers’ websites and wasn’t completely happy about any of them. I’m so glad we went with Erin.
My bridesmaids wore navy dresses of their choice. I was extremely easy-going about the whole thing – I had no stipulations whatsoever, except that it was navy and that they wore metallic shoes, because those are items that you are guaranteed to be able to wear again because they are practically neutrals. As it happened, they all looked amazing together, and I promise there was no micromanaging on my part! Our guys wore black suits that they already owned and we picked some pale blue non-matching ties for them, and some sprays of feathers to wear as boutonnieres. I think they all looked pretty dapper, especially my brother Patrick!
We said goodbye to the dogs just as Rupert was about to crack it from too much time outdoors in the cold. He got wrapped in a blanket, placed in the pram and driven back to the apartment by our incredible dog sitter/chaperone Rob, who stayed in with them all night and fed them sushi for their special wedding dinner.
But for us, then came the reception… (next post, which you can read here!)
** So, the Very Bad Thing that happened… well, I don’t even want to dwell on it too much, because I’ve already spent too long feeling upset about it. Basically my makeup artist supposedly got sick, was completely hysterical and attention-seeking about the whole thing, ended up running out of time and spending half as long on my face as she had on my bridesmaids. And what she did was definitely not what I had asked for, or what I’d had at the trial. On the day, I was devastated and it was too late to fix it, so I had to go with it. I got quieter and quieter until somebody handed me some valium, which unfortunately made me a bit dazed-looking in some of the photos.
I accepted a partial refund and decided not to post negative reviews because I think just the act of writing them would have made me more upset. But for any brides reading this post, email me if you want to know who it was so you’ll know who to avoid.
A part of me is still really upset about it, but I’m trying my hardest to forget about it as much as I can and focus on all the amazing bits of the day. Because really, 99% of what happened was wonderful. And to make me feel better, we’ve decided that we’re going to take some fancy one year anniversary photos, and next time, I’ll be doing my own makeup.