Here is the definitive wedding post of Brendan and Tina's wedding, as written by Tina. This is a very detail-oriented and sentimental post, so if you don't really care about weddings, or know roughly what happened on the day, skip this post.
At 6.42 am, I was woken with a persistent knocking on the door. I'd only had 4 hours of sleep the night before, so I dragged myself out of bed. It was Julie, and I was supposed to be awake at 6.30 am. So I got up and got dressed, in time for the other bridesmaids to arrive. Mealz and I had some yummy fruit for breakfast, and then Tara drove me to my hairdressing appointment in Kilbirnie. Luckily it only took half an hour for her to backcomb my hair and do it into a french roll, and then it was back to the apartment, where the bridesmaids were having their makeup done.
I'd brought fake nails from America, but they proved to be a real pain as they wouldn't look right - the glue went white and clumpy. However, we were running out of time, so I just decided to go with them and hope they looked OK. Tara and I also had to make a run to Farmers to buy a very expensive strapless bra. I got into my dress - I'd tried it on the night before again and discovered that I'd actually lost too much weight in the time leading up to the wedding, with our strict cardio workouts. Whereas before it had been a perfect fit, now it didn't fit properly at all!
After some minor panic about the flowers, since I'd forgotten to organise someone to pick them up, the two wedding cars arrived. People ran to the windows and there were many "ooohs!" At this point, I was trying not to get too excited and emotional, because I knew that once I did, it would be hard to calm down enough to get through the day!
The weather was supposed to be partly sunny, but by the time we left, it had cleared to become a beautiful, calm, sunny day. Fantastic!
Brendan stayed the night at a different hotel room on the same level, so I was allowed out of the room under almost no circumstances, and neither was he! Brendan's family occupied a room on the same level about half-way between the both of us. Ida, Blaise and Jonny ran back and forth between all the different rooms, and many texts and phone calls were sent.
Blaise apparently had trouble tying his tie, resorting after a while to the internet. Brendan tried to demonstrate with his red one.
So at 10.50 am, we climbed into the white-gold Mustang and set off for the church. I remembered I still hadn't written my speech - so I decided to put all our Toastmasters experience into action. The Mustangs were convertible, so when we got to the church, we put the top down.
We all climbed out and adjusted dresses. Cameras were flashing the whole time, and then my Mum came out, and we hugged. It was a reunion, as we hadn't seen each other for seven years! The flowers were also quickly distributed to the right people.
I wasn't sure when to move inside, because people were still taking pictures, and I could hear Paschebel's Canon in D being played inside. Paschebel's Canon in D was the song we picked for me to walk down the aisle to, and I was still outside!
Dad and Fr. David, the priest, greeted me inside the church. Fr. David mentioned that Brendan was waiting at the front for me. I was so excited! I couldn't wait to see Brendan (and impress him with a pretty dress - isn't that what you're supposed to do?). I could see everyone in the church smiling at me waiting in the narthex - I felt so special and not nervous at all!
So I told the bridesmaids when the right time in the music roughly was, and they left: Tara, Mealz, Ida. Then I took Dad's arm and we walked down the aisle. Dad walked nice and slowly and the timing was perfect. I mostly didn't notice though because I was too busy smiling at everyone on both sides of the church, and looking at Brendan. He looked so good. :)
The ceremony went really well, perfectly in fact. I cried all through the rehearsal the night before, and I was so scared I was going to cry all through the ceremony! Brendan says he would have been disappointed if I wasn't even a tiny bit emotional, but I think its embarrassing. I was trying not to cry at one point in the vows... :(
When the choir sang the first time, I was feeling a bit excited, so I ended up singing the alto bit from the song - John Rutter's A Gaelic Blessing. All the excitedness melted away and I was normal again.
For some reason, when Fr. David asked us to raise our right hands, Brendan thought my right hand was my left and said, "No, your right hand!"! It was quite funny. Ida and Tara also started laughing when Ida tripped on her dress, and then Mealz started laughing too. (I tripped a lot on mine too, especially as we were leaving the church.) It was so lovely to look at everyone there, all our family and friends, and know that some of them had come pretty far just to see us!
Another funny thing that happened: my sister Sarah was wearing a low-cut black dress. When my grandmother saw her, she marched over to Sarah and yanked Sarah's top up!
When we came out of the church, suddenly there was a huge, "BOOM!" followed by another, then another. I hadn't realised that the 21st of April was the Queen's actual birthday (and my great-grandmother's birthday, incidentally), and hence there was a 21-gun salute just on the Point below us. Smoke drifted across the harbour. It was perfect timing.
Brendan and I had a few photos down at the Point, as the soldiers kindly offered to let us use the guns in our wedding photos. The sea was so calm and flat, and blue. We left for the Botanics in the red Mustang, which had black and white balloons, and cans tied to it to make noise. We drove down Wakefield Street and along the Quays - everyone waved and tooted at us! It was great fun.
Eventually everyone arrived at the Botanics, and we took photos. We were running a bit later than schedule, so we had to keep ringing the Skyline and putting the lunch times back! Luckily they were very nice about it though. At this point co-ordinating shoes plus dress plus veil became a bit unmanageable, and so the bridesmaids had to help me with my dress a lot, to get up the hill to where the reception was! I needed three people to help me hold the front and back and not trip over - there was a lot of dress at the front!
The reception went very fast - there was lots of yummy food but I was too excited to really eat it! I ate a bit because I knew I would need it, but I didn't really feel like eating. I'm told that everyone else made up for it though, since they were all very hungry after waiting so long! (Sorry!)
In between lunch and dessert, and after the speeches and toasts, we slipped out for a few more photos, and again near the end, about 5.30 as the sun was going down. (We didn't want everyone else to have to wait for us, even though we hadn't got all of the photos we wanted in the first round.)
The speeches were lovely, and funny. So many people said so many lovely things. We were also very pleased when Ida, Geoff and Mealz got up to speak, since we hadn't anticipated that!
The cake was amazing - made by Julie's friend Bridget, from a photo we'd sent her. It was an exact replica, and a yummy chocolate mud cake. Bridget told me that the flowers that the florist had made for the cake weren't right, so she'd borrowed the orchid that Myrla had put there in the church specifically, and added some extra greenery! She's very talented!
I never managed to get around seeing all the people I wanted to at the reception, unfortunately, so if I missed you, I'm very sorry. I also never managed to actually eat any of the dessert! I did manage to save one piece of our cake, and ate it four days later.It was so yummy and rich I didn't eat the rest of the night! I wish we could have brought it back with us, but US customs might not have liked that.
We had black, white and silver lollies / chocolate favours for people to put into their little Chinese takeaway favour boxes. Each had the person's name and was stamped with a stamp we got in Chinatown, San Francisco, which meant "love" in old Mandarin. Apparently they were practically inhaled! Luckily I had some pastel M'n'M's I'd brought over from America as well, when we got back from photos, and some people who'd previously missed out got those instead.
So, overall, apart from a few very minor mishaps, things were absolutely perfect. I doubt it could have been any better!
Jonny, Ellie, Ryan and Raydon won the game we'd devised for the Botanics... I think they were collaborating!
Afterwards, we went back to the apartments and got changed. We also organised all of our stuff to take with us, since we were taking Julie's car for a few days, and she would take the rest of it. I'd left a bag with my glasses in it at church, so Brendan drove up to Roseneath and I grabbed it. Luckily I had a key etc from when I was an organ scholar there, since the church had already been locked and alarmed.
Then we went to Geoff's 21st birthday party at the Big Kumara, his favourite club / pub. That was quite fun, since he'd funded the bar tab in true Geoff style: using his course-related costs loan, and by selling one of his many cars. Unfortunately we got there just as the bar tab ran out , so we just had red bulls since we were tired, and were driving. :(
That night, we dropped Mealz off at her gorgeous old Victorian flat, before driving up to Waikanae where we were staying at my aunty's amazing Bed and Breakfast in Waikanae Beach. We couldn't leave Mealz's house for a while though, since a tiny baby hedgehog came out and started running around in front of the car! I tried to shoo it away, and it only made it run under the car! Finally it moved enough that we wouldn't run over it.
Around 12.15, we arrived, and crashed into bed.
Here are the photos from that day from our camera. (Or you can just click on one of the photos above.) More to come! (Thanks to everyone who took the photos from that - there are some great ones.)
Also, a reminder that here are the professional photos - we love them, we think Tim did a great job!