Tuesday, 6 August 2013

Less Than a Year

No blog posts for two months...? 

Yup, got nothing.  Let's move on.

We decided to play tourist over in the Wairarapa one weekend very recently as our wedding is a destination one for the vast majority of our guests...and then we could make recommendations on things to do.  This is a bit odd for me as I grew up there, and see things in a very different light, but John had several tourist like activities he had wanted to check out for a while and that's what we did.

But we also managed to get in some wedding planning along the way.  We stayed in the resort/hotel where our reception will be, and had dinner cooked by the on-site caterers we have booked.  This was nerve-racking!  While we had heard positive things...what would we do if it was awful?  Thankfully, it was amazing!  Fresh, locally sourced, ingredients, matched with beautiful, and again local, wines.  So yum, and the complimentary cocktails were a lovely bonus.

On the Sunday we travelled out to our ceremony venue, which is where we will also be having our formal photographs.  There we met our photographer to have a practice photo session.  I have had a bit of grief about being SO organised that our practice photos were exactly a year out from the wedding, but it was at our photographer's suggestion.  He reasoned that it was the perfect time to see just how our venue looks mid-winter, and to get to know us better well before the wedding planning (and stress) really gets going. 

We dressed up a little and then wandered all over the location looking for photo spots, with the photographer identifying places we hadn't even thought of.  It was surprisingly fun, romantic, and relaxed and I am incredibly grateful that we did it.

Next up, when my gorgeous bridesmaid returns from her travels, will be dress hunting.  Hopefully that will be just as fun.  Update to follow!

Wednesday, 5 June 2013

Important messages from the sponsors

There have been some pretty big things going on in the Clarke/Harkness/Petterson family over recent times, which go some way to explaining the total absence of blog-like activity.

First some important messages:

1.  Happy Birthday to my darling daughter who turned 12 on 16 May.  You are my shining star and I am so proud of you!
2.  Happy 1st birthday on 17th May to my cute little nephew Nixon! 
3.  Happy 34th wedding anniversary to my mum and dad for 5 May!  Such an achievement and an inspiration.
4.  All the best to Mark and Tracy, getting married next week in Rarotonga.  We so wish we could be with you to celebrate, but we will be thinking of you!
5.  Bon voyage to Heather, who is off to Raro for the wedding and then heading off on an amazing adventure to the States.  We will miss you heaps, but hope you have a ball!!
And in wedding news...
Thanks so much to everyone who came to our engagement party.  Many of you travelled, got babysitters for little ones, and ventured out on a Wellington evening to celebrate with us.  It was a great night, and every bit as fun as we had hoped.
And in a wedding update...
We have a photographer!  Photography is one of those things we decided early on was really important to us, so it was super important we located the perfect photographer.  After looking at loads of websites and meeting with several we made a choice.  We love our photographer's dramatic and creative use of weather, architecture and different backgrounds as well as his photojournalistic style.  He also seems calm and organised, and totally not over-the-top and in our faces (very important attributes!)
Now off to consult the planner to see what's next to sort, or maybe an episode of Doctor Who and a glass of wine!


Monday, 6 May 2013

What I took away from the Wedding Show...

I was planning to write about the Wellington Wedding Show - the vendors that impressed, that disappointed, and those who freaked us out a little!

But instead I will tell you about what happened after the Wedding Show.

I have to admit that I did attend the show a little under the weather.  There was a friend's hens night the evening before, that had lasted into Sunday morning, and had at various moments included high tea, dinner, sangria, dancing, shots and a pole dancing class!

The sensory overload that was the wedding show combined with over-tiredness left me wide awake last night, and having a minor meltdown about decisions that had to be made and money that had to be saved.  And contrary to how it may appear given the singular focus of this blog, being also a mum, a partner, a friend, and having a challenging job, free time is not in abundance... so when the heck am I going to find time to do all this stuff?? 

And as anybody who has ever lain awake with irrational thoughts racing through their heads will know, midnight meltdowns suck!

Fortunately. I eventually got to sleep and woke with a lot more perspective and even some mantras to remember when (inevitably) I get like that again:

    1.  We have already made some of the biggest decisions!
    2.  We will get this done (with a little help)!
    3.  We will save what we can.  We will need to DIY and compromise, and that's ok!
    4.  It is one day.  What we say and commit on that day in front of our loved ones is way more     important that the tiniest details no one will remember.
    5.  Wedding-free time is crucial.  Time spent with an almost 12 year old daughter is precious, watch old movies with John, goof off at Lunatic class with the girls, run!, read.  All those things that keep me sane and happy.

And, along with some photographers to follow up, and some dresses I will certainly be checking out, this is what the Wellington Wedding Show helped me realise.

It was worth it.

Sunday, 28 April 2013

What is your wedding style?

The image of a young girl dressing up her dolls and conducting pretend weddings for hours on end is pretty common. 

I have to admit that I don't recall doing this myself.  I was more into constructing elaborate towns on the living room floor, complete with roads, train tracks and the local zoo.  Oh and fighting with my brother over cars!

Does this mean that I didnt have any idea from an early age about how my wedding day would go?  Well...to be honest I had no particular vision of how I would look as a bride, and I certainly didn't spend much time at all thinking about my wedding.

Until the possibility of actually being a bride became increasingly real.  As Heather can attest I had a pretty good idea of the kind of wedding I wanted slightly before John popped the question.  There was in fact a serious discussion about it after quite a few wines one night, several months earlier!

I have always thought that a winter wedding would be incredibly romantic.  Partly this is because I am so fair that a summer wedding would mean a significant investment in sunscreen.  But it's mostly about it being a little different and beautiful, think texture, candles and good rich food.  I am also hoping that having a mid-winter wedding, especially in a location that few of the guests actually live, will mean that they can look forward to a weekend away themselves.

I am pretty confident in the direction that our wedding planning is going, but I have been spending quite a bit of time looking for ideas and inspiration on wedding blogs, in magazines and on tv.


(I am a sucker for 'Say Yes to the Dress', but 'Bridezillas' drives me crazy and stress me out!  If anyone knows of any better wedding related shows please let me know).

I like to see weddings that are reflective of the couple and what is important to them, be it a casual beach affair, a vintage garden party or stunning cocktail party.

The way I see it, your wedding style should be what you are comfortable in, but also what is inspiring to you. 

Monday, 22 April 2013

On the brain

It's been a busy few weeks for all things wedding related.  We attended a lovely wedding in Wellington over Easter, New Zealand passed the Marriage Amendment Bill - Yah!  and those of you who read John's blog will know that we have confirmed a date and venue for our wedding.

And it's fair to say I am putting a fair bit of pressure on myself to start the planning in earnest.  I have to admit to already having quite a few lists.

The trip over to the Wairarapa - hilariously detailed in John's blog - was an incredibly full on day.  For the first time I felt quite stressed.  I could see how the ideas we had for our wedding day could slip away with an overbearing venue boss, or in a location that just wasn't right.  Fortunately, there were many positives, and we have come away knowing that while we will have a lot of work to do, we are completely happy and confident with our decisions.

Now that we have confirmed those key details we can start looking at all those other elements that we want to be part of our day - the usual suspects like flowers, photography, food, cake, as well as a few that are a little more unusual and that I won't talk too much about here.  We do want a few surprises for our guests on the day.

Next on the planning itinerary is the Wellington Wedding Show in early May and which happens to be the day after a friend's hen party, so hopefully I won't be too worse for wear!  I plan on trying to relax on the wedding planning front for the next few weeks, some of the big decisions and bookings have been made, and there really is no need to put that much pressure on right now. 

Oh, and in a few weeks we are moving in together so there are other things to be getting organised.  Probably time for another list!

Friday, 29 March 2013

How it all began...

Well, not quite.  I don't propose to go over the last three years of our relationship or describe in great detail the (ever-increasingly) dramatic story of how we first got together.  If you haven't heard that one already ask John next time you see him!

The Proposal is where this particular story begins.

John's brother was staying with us, down from Auckland for the weekend, which happens from time to time, so nothing I saw as particularly unusual.  Neither was it overly unusual for our best friend Heather to be staying over on a Saturday night, after a yum home cooked meal, a movie and a few drinks.

What was slightly odd was the strange sort of insistence that we had to go to the Roxy Cinema in Miramar for brunch the next day.  Odd because we had planned to all see Hitchcock together, and Hitchcock wasn't even playing at the Roxy??  But a little subtle persuasion, and the promise of a British chick flic, was enough to see me convinced.

I really started to think something was up as John got paler and paler on the drive to the cinema.  He had received a few phone calls that he had to take in private and seemed incredibly stressed.  I remember thinking that once we are alone again I would have to see what was going on!  Little did I know, he was about to undertake a proposal that had been in the planning for several weeks, and also relied on the involvement of others.

It went down something like this:

After being seated, John suddenly realised that he had left his credit card in the car and went off to get it.  Keith, Heather and I were debating what to eat, when I was approached by a man, dressed all in black and wielding a large sword, which he placed at my throat 'taking me hostage'.  I did accompany him, but really only because I recognised him as one of John's old fencing friends, and because both Heather and Keith stood up and simply followed us...not really the kind of behaviour you hope your friends would display in an actual hostage situation! 

I was 'dragged' up the beautiful stairs at the Roxy, when out of nowhere John appeared with his sword and he and the 'bad guy' proceeded to dual for my honour up the stairs with their swords.  I learnt later that the theatre staff were fully on board with all of this, which is awesome, but all I could see at the time was how close those swords were getting to really nice furnishing and wood work! 

Oh...and at this stage I had kind of figured something was going on, and that everybody but me knew all about it!

After a dramatic battle, John 'killed' the bad guy, who then subtly retreated to the corner while John got down on one knee, said some lovely words (which will stay between us), and then proposed!

Suffice to say, I said yes!  Then there was champagne, flowers, and celebrations with Keith and Heather, and lovely Roxy Theatre staff! 

Afterwards, I was able to hear about all the planning that had gone into the proposal, and how it had almost all gone wrong on several occasions.  I think John's friend locking himself out of the house, and then running late, was the most stressful of all these.  He could correct me in this though.

From my perspective, it was different and surprising and romantic all at the same time.  And as we both love movies, old and new, and especially love the Roxy, it was perfect for us!

Wednesday, 27 March 2013

Not what I thought I would ever do!

A wedding blog.  Such a cliche right?  But, a very good friend asked if I would start writing one and I started to think about it. 
I get that no one else will reach quite the level of excitement and anticipation, except of course my lovely fiancee, that I have for our wedding.
But I do want to have a place where all ours, our family and friends’ organisation, hard work and creativity can be recorded and shared, and where those who are interested can catch up with how we are progressing.
After a while I hope this blog will also become a practical tool; where guests can check out practical arrangements, maps, accommodation options etc.
But that is a way in the future yet.
First....the Proposal.