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The Chronicles of the Weezie and the inflatable turtle
Weezie's random ramblings!!! Wahaaa!!
My wedding and other things...
So my last entry was talking a bit about my wedding, which was on January 31st. I only really got as far as going through what happened at the ceremony, so I figured I might as well fill you in on the rest of the day.

So after our ceremony finished there was a period of time designated for the guests to mingle and have drinks and nibbles provided by the caterers at the venue, Silverstream Retreat. At first me and Taina and the bridal party were mingling too, lots of people were all coming up to hug me and Taina, and offer their congratulations.

Our photographer David floated around a bit, took a few photos, and we got a few posed photos set up of various groups: us with the Albrett family, us with the Kelly family, the bridal party, groups like that.

There were quite a few kids at the wedding: my cousins (Aunty Helen's four kids), my cousin Rebecca's two kids Erin and Megan, my brother-in-law Dallas' daughter Tyler and baby son Bronson, and Amber Jarvis' daughter Danica.

I have a bit of an idea what it is like to be a kid at a wedding. Not that I was exactly that young when my aunty Helen got married, but I was fifteen at her wedding, and all my cousins were younger than me, like between the ages of 8 and 14. So at her wedding reception, we were set up at our own kids table in a small side room away from the adults tables, and we had a lot of fun. And I wanted to make sure the kids at my wedding had fun too.

So I set up a kids table for the reception so they could all sit together, even though I knew they didn't all know each other just yet. I also made these little puzzle pages, with a picture to colour in and a Wordfind, and put coloured pencils and other stationery on their table along with the puzzle sheets so that could keep them entertained if they were a bit bored at any stage.

It turned out to be quite successful. While the adults were mingling after the ceremony, the kids went inside the reception hall (which was immediately next to the outdoor courtyard where we had the ceremony) and they sat down and started on their puzzle sheets.

So in the middle of taking photos and chatting, young Erin came up to me with her coloured-in picture she had just finished. The picture was of a bride and groom (I had found it on the internet). But the way she had coloured it was just perfect.

She had coloured the bride in a bright blue dress (just like my dress which was a bright, sky blue), and given her blonde hair just like mine. The groom was wearing black and white, with a blue tie just like what Taina was wearing. And it was so cute, especially as she had brought it up to show it to me. So we got a photo of Erin with her picture and that was cool.

After a little bit, photographer David suggested we go for a little walk around the back of the venue where there were other buildings and grassy areas and trees, to get some other photos along with the rest of our bridal party. So we headed around and did that.

I had been offered a few glasses of wine by this stage, and although I had also sampled the finger food available, I hadn't had enough to stop the wine from going straight to my head. So as we walked around the back of the venue, me trying not to trip on my semi-long dress and walking carefully in my slightly high-heeled silver shoes, I noticed myself feeling somewhat tipsy.

Normally that wouldn't be such a good thing for while photos were being taken, as I have a tendency to become hot, red and flushed when I drink, but actually in all the photos that were taken during that time I looked fine.

We took a number of photos, posing around poles outside a building, and photos in a little area with trees and stuff. Funny photos. Cute, romantic photos. The cliched bridesmaids doing Charlies Angels pose photos. All that stuff. But it was fun, and the photos ended up looking really cool.

Then suddenly it was about 5.30pm, so we came back around to the reception hall and made our entrance, having now found that all of the other guests were now seated at their tables in the reception hall, ready to eat dinner.

Me and Taina made our official entrance, and sat down at the Head Table.

Everything was set up perfectly. Behind the Head Table was a large wall of fairy lights, a decoration that the Retreat already had that we paid a bit extra to include in our package because I felt it looked really pretty. We had put up more fairy lights ourselves, strung around the ceiling rafters. There was silver fabric we had draped from the ceiling also, blue chair ties on every chair, and centrepiece vases filled with blue fairy lights and fake sunflowers. And the new add-on that hadn't been there when we came to set-up decorations the day before: our wedding cake, on a small table next to our Head Table.

Our cake was cool. It was three layers of cake, each a different flavour: Banana, chocolate mud, and lemon. Then icing was blue fondant, of almost an identical shade to my blue dress, with just a hint of silver sparkles throughout it, and a silver diamante trim around the bottom of each layer. On top, we had a cake topper our cake maker Anna had made with fondant: A bride and groom, sitting on a park bench, with a guitar next to the groom and a microphone next to the bride. And a small, subtle roman numeral V in icing in front of the park bench, representing the five years that me and Taina have now been together as a couple.

The cake topper was pretty cool and personal. The choice of guitar and microphone is fairly self-explanatory, given me and Taina's love of music, and the fact that in particular I love to sing and Taina plays guitar. The park bench choice was a bit of a personal nod to the early days of me and Taina's relationship.

Back in 2010, when we were first together, we were a bit limited on where we could go to hang out and be together as a couple. For the first part of the year Taina was still living at the flat that he and Michelle owned together, largely because Taina was reluctant to give up the place that he co-owned, even though it meant living with Michelle after he had already ended their relationship. But with Michelle still living there too, us hanging out there together wasn't an option.

I was still living with Danielle and Glenn at the time, at the flat we rented together. Given that neither of them were on speaking terms with me at the time and both were against me and Taina's relationship, hanging out there didn't seem like much of an option either.

So during that first year we were together, we spent a lot of time going to public places to spend time together, often parks. A lot of time was spent, the two of us sitting on a park bench or at a picnic table at Maidstone Park, or Trentham Memorial Park, or Harcourt Park. Sitting, talking. Sometimes Taina would bring his guitar and we'd jam for a bit. But mostly we just sat and talked a lot. And while that was a very difficult time for both of us in so many ways, that was also a very special time in that it was what brought us closer, and when I think of the early days, the formation of our relationship, I think of those days at the park.

Therefore, the park bench in our wedding cake topper.

David the photographer was only contracted for four hours with us (because I didn't want to pay like an extra $1000 just for a few extra reception photos), so he stayed long enough to get a photo of each table of guests, get a couple of photos of us with my Grandma (because she missed the Kelly family group photos earlier), and get some photos of me and Taina doing a mock cake cutting.

Then he headed off, and Nick (I had appointed my brother to be our MC for the reception) announced it was time for dinner.

Dinner was a buffet, and so each table got called one at a time by the Retreat staff to choose whatever food they wanted. Us at the Head Table didn't have to worry, because we got served directly at our table, I guess one of the perks of being VIPs. The food was really nice, but I must admit I didn't pay a great deal of attention to what I was eating.

My dress had a corset type thing under it, a torsolette the bridal shop had called it, which was designed to sculpt my shape in a particular way and make my dress look more flattering by holding my stomach rolls flat. It wasn't overly tight, and I certainly wouldn't say it was uncomfortable, as I could still move about adequately in it. But I do think having a secure, snug torsolette under my dress meant I was fairly good at not over-eating too much, because I didn't have much room for stomach expansion.

Between the main course and dessert we had speeches. Jess spoke first, just spoke about general tips on marriage and love and things. I would like to say I remember lots of it but I'm afraid I don't. I guess with everything that happened that day it didn't stick well in my memory. Taina's brothers Dallas and Shyro both spoke, and that was pretty cool. Dallas talked about Taina being the un-co one of the Albrett family, and how he had never learned to ride a bike, which got a bit of a laugh, and then I piped up and mentioned that I didn't know how to ride a bike either.

It's true, I don't. I got a bike for my seventh birthday, I loved it, it was purple. My parents put training wheels on it when I first got it, before I ever tried it. I learned to ride it with the training wheels on no problems, but Mum had this plan to leave the training wheels on for several months to make sure I was completely used to it, then take just one wheel off, leaving one training wheel on one side for several more months, and then eventually take the other one off.

In hindsight I think that overly planned, cautious methodolgy of Mum's just ended up meaning I learned to see riding a bike as being a complicated, difficult and dangerous thing before I had even started. It meant that when the time came to remove the first training wheel, I was really nervous even though there was no real reason to be.

Anyway, so I managed to still ride the bike okay with just the one training wheel, but it did mean I naturally tended to lean slightly towards the side that still had the training wheel as a precaution, in case I was about to tip over the training wheel could catch it. So when the last training wheel finally was allowed to come off, a year or so after first getting the bike, I was naturally struggling with balance, and also petrified of falling over, because I had been led to believe bike riding was this scary, dangerous activity that required a year or so of careful training wheel precautions. As a result, I just couldn't do it. I'd take off, ride a metre or so, feel my balance go slowly to one side and immediately freak out and put my feet on the ground to stop the bike suddenly.

And that was the end of the bike riding, and I never re-learned, even now at the age of 29. But I guess that means that's something me and Taina have in common.

After the Albrett brothers speeches, my Dad spoke. He said various things. He talked about when I was a baby, how I'd cry a lot when it was time to sleep and never wanted to go to sleep. He spoke about how surprised he'd been a few years ago, when I grew up and became interested in Theatre and Music, and how impressed he was with both my singing ability, and my abilities at acting comedy roles, and suggested that my comic ability was perhaps due to an upbringing of watching Monty Python and other British comedies that Dad was into.

He talked about Mum passing away last year, and about her intense organisational and planning abilities, and suggested that in some way she had a large part in planning the wedding, either by the input and suggestions she had made early last year before she went to hospital, or just by me taking her influence on board and managing to plan the wedding well myself. I was minorly offended by the implication that I wasn't a good planner myself and only managed it because I was inspired/influenced by Mum's organisational ability. Personally I consider myself an excellent planner.

Finally John, my father-in-law spoke. He spoke in Maori a little bit. He talked about the fact that both Mum's passing and also Vinnie's passing both occurred last year. And I think he talked about other stuff, but I don't remember.

Then I spoke briefly, and thanked everybody for coming, and thanked all the bridal party and our families, and then it was time for dessert.

Dessert was delicious, if also a little forgetable.

Afterwards there was mingling for a while. It was slightly raining outside by this point, which I didn't mind at all, as the weather had been looking all day like it could go either way, and yet miraculously the sunshine had held out right through till the evening, when we were all inside anyway.

Despite the rain, the kids were outside playing and getting along well with each other which was great.

Although initially I didn't feel like I getting up, on account of being a little full from eating, and the slight hassle of getting up and sitting down in my dress with the torsolette and everything. But eventually I figured the polite thing to do would be to mingle, so I went and had a few brief conversations with people at some of the tables.

We had a table in one corner with a guest book and pens, and an Instax polaroid camera, so people could take photos and put them in our guest book with messages. People were taking those, and then there was a suggestion of getting the members of the group that were present outside to pose together for a group photo before it got too dark.

Our group has shrunk a little from the days of old, like back at Luke and Sophie's wedding in 2007, or Taina and Michelle's wedding in 2009 when we had photos of our group. But there was still a number of us there to pose together once more, just like the old days.

There was me, and Taina of course, and my three bridesmaids Jess, and Lisa, and Nerida. There were the two Lukes: both the Luke that now is married to Jess and the other Luke who was one of Taina's groomsmen. And there were Leem and Andrew.

Those missing from the photos were Brennan- who we'd seen the day before but who was stuck working on the wedding day and couldn't come, Jason, who we still have occasional contact with although not often, and he was unavailable to come on the day either, and of course the three that we have become estranged from and are no longer friends with: Michelle, Danielle and Glenn.

My good work friend Ellen took the photos for us. She was a little tipsy, but enjoying herself a lot, along with her boyfriend Ben, and our other work friend Amy who came with her husband Ken. It was great to have them there. Ideally it would have been great to have my other closest work friend, Mark, there too. But I didn't invite him initially because in the past he's been a bit unreliable when it comes to committing to coming to things. That and I figured with it being Saturday, and me and Amy already getting time off for the wedding, it would be pushing it to try and get another Saturday staff member off for the day to come.

Eventually after all that, and after dessert had digested, Nick announced it was time for the first dance. Our first dance song was Thinking Out Loud by Ed Sheeran. Probably the only annoying thing about that song is it has been ridiculously popular in the last few months, and gets played on the radio a lot. Everywhere I go, I walk into a shop and hear the song come on. Every time I would hear it before the wedding I would get annoyed, because I wanted to be sure that I wouldn't hear it too much, and become sick of it before the wedding. But it is such a beautiful song, romantic lyrics, beautiful melody. Just right.

So me and Taina danced, and then the bridal party joined it. We'd given them the heads up earlier on, that we wanted them to join in halfway through the song, so that we wouldn't be stuck dancing on our own for a full 4 or so minutes, and also so that their dancing would inspire other guests to come up and join in also.

Luke was a little reluctant I suspect. The girl choices of dance partners from the bridesmaids were Jess, who was already wanting to dance with her husband Luke anyway, Nerida, who he gets along with fine but would likely feel awkward slow dancing with, and Lisa...who is his ex-girlfriend. Ex-fiance even.

I wasn't sure how he would work around it. But in the end it was awesome. Luke ended up dancing with Dallas, which caused a lot of laughs from the guests and was pretty funny. And seeing as Lisa's boyfriend Michael wasn't keen on getting up and instead was awkwardly hanging around sitting at the Head Table by himself at this point, Lisa and Nerida danced together too. Jess and her Luke danced together, and Shyro danced with his girlfriend Carol. It all worked out.

After the slow dancing to Thinking Out Loud, some more upbeat songs came on for dancing. There were a couple of other people who came onto the dance floor to join the bridal party. Little Erin danced with us for a bit, and one or two of the other kids. Ellen and Ben joined in briefly. Maybe one other adult couple. But after around three songs, the dance floor thinned out. Even the bridal party filtered off to grab drinks or sit and chat to people. And when it got down to just me and Taina by ourselves again, we decided to maybe accept that the dancing thing just wasn't really taking off that night.

It's a shame. I love to dance, and I had always kinda wanted my wedding reception to be filled with lots of people dancing for hours. But I guess the crowd just mostly weren't the dancing type. Or weren't in the mood that night. Or in some cases, felt it was getting late. Ellen and Amy and their partners had to leave shortly after this, to drive back to Wellington. Others slowly started to leave too.

Soon, it was just the bridal party, the other group members Leem and Andrew, my Dad, my brother Nick, my uncle Adrian, and all the Albretts (because they're night owls anyway and always stay up really late). We sat around and chatted, and sang along a bit to my music still playing my dance playlist.

A couple of the Albrett guys got the decorations down once most of the other guests had left, because we had been told we any decorations we brought ourselves had to be taken down by the end of the night. I was feeling a little tired by then and kinda looking forward to crashing in the complimentary motel room the Retreat had given me and Taina for the night. But we stuck around a little longer, talking to the family still there.

Finally, even the bridal party left, and Leem and Andrew were gone, and it was just the last of the family. Uncle Adrian was loving hanging out with the Albretts, and he and Nick decided to go back to Taina's parents house for an after party of sorts, drinking and staying up all night with some of the Albrett family, including Taina's cousin Charles, and the family friend Jeff. And finally as they set off for Taina's parents house in Petone, me and Taina wandered across the grounds of the Retreat, and headed to our room for the night. Despite being tired, we stayed up for a bit and opened some wedding gifts that had been brought to our room.

We got a spice rack from my sister-in-law Aniwa (from our gift registry at Briscoes), and a Dustbuster from Andrew (also on the Briscoes registry). There were also a lot of cards, and a lot of cards from our gift registry at the Flight Centre, from guests who had donated to our honeymoon account.

And so there you have it. That was our wedding. We had a nice wedding night at our room, did the things people usually do on their wedding night, and got a little bit of a sleep-in the next morning, before being awoken by staff dropping off our breakfast. I got mushrooms on toast, and Taina got a full Works breakfast- eggs, bacon, etc. We also had free champagne and chocolates in our room. Then we read through all the messages in our guest book and looked at the Instax camera photos in the book, and then Dad picked us up.

So that's probably enough update for now. It's late and I should go to sleep, as I have work tomorrow and it's 11.40 at night. So goodnight!

So, I'm married now and stuff...
So, I did it. I did the whole getting married thing.

I haven't changed my name. I'm staying being Louise Kelly. Just now I'm Mrs Louise Kelly.

So the wedding was on the 31st of January. I took the week prior to the wedding off from work, as I had been told by those in the know that the last few days before the wedding can be very busy and stressful. I didn't really think it would be, as when I was planning the wedding throughout last year, I couldn't really think of many things that would need doing that would have to wait until the few days before.

Yet as it turned out, that whole week of not being at work got filled up pretty easily. Phone calls chasing up how far away my reception decorations were from being delivered, emails to the venue confirming final guest numbers, and checking if they had a high chair for seating Taina's (and now my) nephew Bronson, going into Wellington to pick up a petticoat from the bridal store, and contact lens solution to take on the honeymoon to Rarotonga, and shoe shine for Tai to clean his wedding shoes. Getting my nails done with Jess the day before the wedding. Stuff like that.

Thursday that week Brennan came around. He gave us a wedding gift, a big 4 slice toaster which is pretty great. We didn't have a toaster so it was a useful gift. We hung out, and watched a movie that he brought over, called One Fine Day? I think? Had Anne Hathaway in it. It was pretty good, although a sad ending.

We also played Cards Against Humanity which was fun. Me and Taina have played it quite a bit since we both gave the game to each other for Christmas, and we still really like it.

Friday, the day before the wedding was pretty busy. Me and Jess went to Queensgate in the morning and got manicures and pedicures done. Jess had got these GrabOne vouchers so we got a decent discount, although there was some slight arguing on the day as there was only one lady there despite us not being the only customers booked in for that time so there was a bit of waiting and Jess wasn't too impressed with how the staff handled it.

But it all worked fine. Then we realised we couldn't put our shoes back on afterwards because it takes a while for the nail polish on our toes to dry so we walked barefoot through the mall to buy jandals, and then Jess took me to Michael Hill to get my engagement ring cleaned.

Back at home, I hurriedly created a sign for the reception hall with the seating plan of where everyone would be sitting, and started trying to back up the wedding playlists onto Jess' iPod, which I had borrowed as a backup, just in case anything went wrong with my iPod on the day.

Come mid-afternoon, we picked up Brennan again, who had agreed to be awesome and assist our team of decoration setter-uppers at the venue.

Tai, his brother Shyro and Shyro's friend Jeff put up the lights and fabric hangings through the reception hall while me, Brennan, Nerida and Jess sorted out the chair ties and table centrepieces. Unfortunately the fairy lights I had ordered online to go in the centrepieces had turned out to be thinner and feebler looking than they had looked online, and made the centrepieces look a little lame.

So Jess suggested a small trip uptown to buy something to add to them, so me, her, Nerida and Brennan went up to The Warehouse in Upper Hutt, and got some fake sunflowers to go in the vases on the tables, which turned out to look good and worked well with the fairy lights too. And so by dinnertime, it was all set-up.

We had a little barbecue back at our place for dinner. Dad gave me and Taina a barbecue for a Christmas present so we were keen to try it out, plus reading all those wedding websites I've been going on the last few months I kept being told, by these website to-do-lists, that I was supposed to hold a rehearsal dinner the night before the wedding.

Supposedly it's this big thing, people book like a restaurant or whatever and invite family and bridal party and everyone. But that seemed like a pointless waste of money, giving the cost of the wedding itself. So I figured a rehearsal barbecue was a good, easy alternative. So some of the Albretts, and my bridesmaid girls and Brennan all came around for that.

After the barbecue, we headed back up to the Silverstream Retreat, in time for a ceremony rehearsal. The celebrant George was there, and Dad came, and we did a brief rehearsal, checking my iPod in the stereo, and getting timing right and the sequence for walking up the aisle.

Jess had some strong opinions about timing and spacing between each of the bridesmaids going up the aisle, but I ended up vetoing her on it because I felt it would be too awkward, each of the girls walking a really long time on their own before the next person started out. I felt it worked better if each person was less spaced out, but walked at a slower pace so it still filled in a reasonable length of time with the music.

But we got it figured out, and then we went back home, and I finished backing up music on Jess' iPod, and packed the things I needed for staying overnight at Dad's, aswell as things I would need taken to the Retreat on the day for staying overnight afterwards that night.

Then I said goodnight to Taina, and left him with a small checklist of things not to forget for the next day, and then drove around to Dad's place to stay the night. Me and Dad watched an episode of QI, and then I went to my old room to go to sleep.

It was weird, sitting there in my bedroom. I was reminded of being a teenager again, how sometimes I would think about the future, about what would happen when I grew up, about what it would be like when I got married.

I remember doing this game called PRAM. We used to do it at school sometimes. You'd get like a piece of paper, and put PRAM at the top. PRAM stood for: Poor, Rich, Average, Millionaire. Then you'd create other categories, like different possible careers, types of cars you may end up owning, numbers to represent the amount of kids you might have, maybe letters of the alphabet signifying the potential first letter of your future husband's name.

Then you'd select a number, and go through each item in the lists, and say if your number was seven, you'd cross off each item you got to each time you counted to seven. But once you had only one item in a category left, you'd stop counting that category, so at the end, you had one non-crossed off item from each category, and that would tell you your future.

I remember doing those sometimes by myself at home as a kid/teenager, and wondering about what my future would be like, whether I would ever find someone to get married to, and who it would be, and what they'd be like.

And being there in my old bedroom that night, those days didn't even seem all that long ago. I guess they are a long time ago really, but the truth is in many ways I'm still the same person I was back then. And yet, there I was, no longer a teenager, all grown up and about to be really getting married.

I went to sleep anyhow, and when I woke up, it was 8am on Saturday morning. Dad was still asleep, so I got up, got dressed and made myself a coffee. Had just started drinking it and was about to jump online on the computer when the doorbell rang. It was Lisa.

Me and Lisa chatted for a bit while I drank my coffee, and then soon after, Jess and Nerida arrived. I had just finished my coffee by this stage, and so was surprised to find that Jess and Nerida had gone and bought coffees for everyone, including me. So I got a huge caffeine hit that morning.

We headed up to the place we were getting our hair and makeup done, well actually it was two different places, but they were next door to one another. It was handy because the makeup place had two stylists and so did the hair place so we split up, me and Lisa got our hair done first while Nerida and Jess got makeup done, and then we switched.

I expected having four girls get professional hair and makeup done to take a few hours, but actually we were all done by about 11.30, despite my having to interrupt my hair stylist because I needed to pee in my middle of getting my hair done (the inevitable after-effect of the two cups of coffee).

So being done early, we just headed back to Dad's, and soon after Dad had prepared lunch. Lunch was croissants and fruit. Then there was a fair bit of time to kill, so we hung out in my room chatting.

It was perhaps a little stink that a lot of our conversation was me and Jess trying to convince Lisa to break up with her boyfriend Michael because she can do better. Normally I try to be pretty accommodating about the life choices and relationship choices of my friends, but I have to admit I'm not much of a fan of Michael. It just seems like he doesn't treat Lisa as well as he should, and I also just think he's too immature and not ready to commit to adult responsibilities, and I think Lisa's reached the point in her life now where she doesn't want to just mess around, she wants something solid and long term. But in the end, I'll support her choice regardless.

But it was nice chatting to the girls and hanging out. At about 1.30pm, the florist Jane turned up with our bouquets. I was minorly disappointed by them. I expected my bouquet to have large sunflowers, and the bridesmaids to have gerbera daisies in a couple of different colours, including yellow like the sunflowers. What actually arrived was my bouquet had small sunflowers that just looked a lot like yellow gerberas, and the girls had a mixture of yellow and white gerberas, which made them look almost exactly the same as my bouquet, plus it meant my bouquet was smaller than I expected. But really, I didn't care much. As far as details of the wedding went, the flowers had always been one of the least important to me.

Plus my bouquet had this pretty blue velvet tied around the stems, so that was nice. I liked that the velvet felt all fuzzy and stuff.

At around 2.30 the photographer David arrived. Just before he turned up, we had started getting into our dresses, so we were just dressed when he arrived, but were still putting on shoes and jewellery and such. He took a few photos of stuff like that, and then he took some photos of me with Dad and Nick, as well as some photos of all us girls.

Then he went up to the Retreat early to get photos of the guys, and of the guests arriving, and Dad and Nick took a taxi up to the venue, so by 3.00 it was just us girls again, all ready to go, hovering, waiting for our limo.

The limo arrived on time, and it was pretty nice. Had champagne glasses and everything, not that we drank anything. The only thing that I didn't like was that getting in and out of the limo in my dress was quite the effort. There was a lot of flowy skirt material to deal with, and I had to make sure not to stand on it, and not to crumple it too much when I sat down. Still, as wedding dresses go, mine was a lot less high maintenance than many brides. At least I only had a very tiny hint of a train at the back, not a full long thing to have to deal with.

Because my planning and scheduling had been so efficient and accurate, the limo actually got us to the venue kinda early. We went around the side and parked behind the building, away from the arriving guests to avoid being seen, and hovered for a bit, trying to pass some time.

Eventually Luke, who was one of the groomsmen came around to us, and Jess got out and had a conversation with him. I didn't hear any of it from inside the limo, but turns out he told her guests were still arriving, and it might be best if we go somewhere for a bit and then come back to fill in time. And then Jess told him he had to tie his long, scruffy hair up. Lol.

So our limo driver took me and the bridesmaids for a little drive around Stokes Valley to fill in time while we were waiting. It's funny, most of the day Jess (and other people too) had kept asking me if I was nervous, but I had kept saying no. I just didn't really feel I had any reason to be nervous, really. But as we drove around Stokes Valley for those ten or fifteen minutes, I did slowly start to feel a little nervous.

I wasn't sure why, and I didn't admit it to anyone. I think it was just the unexpected extra waiting period added by this little trip. When something major is about to happen that you've been preparing for a long time, and then an unexpected extra period of waiting is added in before you can actually do the thing you've been waiting to do, I think instinctively it creates anxiety and anticipation, even if there's no real reason for it.

But finally we came back up the road to the Retreat. We parked out the front this time, and the girls all got out the limo, and I awkwardly clambered out, dress and all. Dad was there all ready to go.

I originally hadn't wanted Dad to walk me down the aisle. I guess it's just the feminist in me. The origins of the tradition, so I've been told anyway, is in the olden days when society was a bit different, it was to do with the Dad giving away the bride to the groom, like she was his possession, his responsibility, that he was now giving custody of to the groom. Like handing over property. And for the feminist in me, the thought of that just super creeps me out.

I know that these days people do it because of the tradition, because of the fun of doing things people have done for centuries. And because people feel it's this sweet symbolic thing for a Dad to walk with his daughter as she goes up the aisle.

In the end, because Dad seemed kinda into the idea for those reasons, I sorta came up with a compromise. He walked me the first part of the way, from the beginning of the path from the limo until the reached the back of the chairs where the guests were seated. Then I walked alone the rest of the way while he took a seat in the crowd. I figured it could be kinda symbolic that way too, like symbolising that he brought me up as a child, and then I grew up and took control of my own life or something like that.

So yeah. Nerida came up the aisle first, then Lisa, then Jess, then me and Dad, and then me by myself. My processional song playing on the stereo was the UB40 cover of Can't Help Falling In Love. It was only song I had heard that just felt right. A lot of romantic songs are slow and ballad-like, and while it may be meant to sound thoughtful and sweet, often songs like that can end up sounding a bit sad and melancholic to me. So I wanted something upbeat, yet still uplifting and romantic sounding, not too frivolous. And something that sounded summery, for an outdoor, January ceremony. And UB40 turned out to fit just right.

The ceremony all went fine. The celebrant, George, threw in a couple of unexpected bits of saying things that we would promise for our marriage to each other, and we each had to respond at certain points with 'I will.' This was in addition to the vows we'd written ourselves to read to each other, and came unprepared without prior warning from George, but we just acted cool and managed to respond at the right times. I must admit though, I don't actually recall what these things were that we both ended up promising to, we were too busy trying not to mess it up and trying not to look surprised.

Then we each read our own vows, and then said the whole legal bit about taking each other to be lawfully wedded wife/husband etc, put on our rings, and then it was all pronounced married and stuff.

The Wedding Singer is one of my favourite movies, and there's a scene in it where Drew Barrymore's character is talking to her friend, and her friend is saying she needs to practise her kiss before the wedding to figure out how to get it right, so that it's not gross or too sexual, but not too formal and stiff either. And she ends up practising the kiss with Adam Sandler's character, who at that point in the story is just a friend.

Anyway, that scene has often made me wonder about whether this was something I needed to consider, whether there was a right or wrong way to do the kiss once we were pronounced married. But as it turns out, I can say there's no point in thinking about it. Because in that moment, in the excitement and enjoyment of the day, you can be sure it'll just happen, and it won't be stiff or forced. You just get caught up in a whirl and you go for it.

We signed the paperwork and stuff after that, and then George announced that me and Taina were doing a performance, so me and Tai sat on a bench at the front of everyone, and Taina got his guitar. And we performed Newton Faulkner's Dream Catch Me, with Tai playing the guitar and me singing.

It was a meaningful song choice for us. When me and Taina first got together back in 2010, I was really into Newton Faulkner and had just got his first album Hand Built By Robots, and was listening to it on my iPod in the car when I drove places a lot. Dream Catch Me would often come on while me and Taina were in the car going somewhere, and we'd both sing along together to it. I'd often sing a harmony part while Tai sang the melody and it would sound pretty awesome.

I think that was one of the things that made me realise Taina was the one who was right for me actually. When I realised I could share something as important as my music and performing with him, when I realised that we could create great music together.

Anyhoo, so the performance went great, with virtually no mistakes at all, and we got a lot of compliments afterwards. Then the ceremony was over, and You're My Best Friend by Queen played on the stereo while we walked back up the aisle.

Well, it's nearly midnight and I should really sleep. So I guess the rest of this update will have to wait. Good night for now!

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