A perfectly imperfect day

Posted on March 03, 2014 by claire ongley | 4 comments

A week later, and I seem to be emerging from the blur that was our wedding day. Daniel and I got married on our farm on February 22. The weather the week prior was unseasonably cold, but as the date approached the weather turned to blistering heat. Daniel's parents, fresh off the plane from winter in the UK, were wilting like the flowers on our deck that I had been carefully tending for months. Everything turned brown in the space of a few days!

Leaving the church in the wedding car (ute) as the rain came down.

The day before the wedding was somewhat chaotic. We raced around putting up lights and lanterns in the marquee, arranging flowers in the tins I'd collected for months and spray painted gold (we will never eat another Doris plum again), printing menus and making place tags. Various hiccups combined with the unexpected heat made it an exhausting effort. The quantities of flowers I had carefully planned didn't turn out to be enough, so half of my pretty painted tins got chucked. The hessian runners, once unrolled, revealed unexpected breaks, so had to be cleverly taped together. The Elephant Hill chardonnay we had ordered, did not arrive, so a last minute run to the bottle shop had to be made to purchase an alternative. To top things off, we arrived at our wedding rehearsal on Friday afternoon, hot and bothered, only to discover that my poor husband-to-be hadn't got the wedding license officiated at the courthouse! After his patience and hard work all day, I could hardly be annoyed. I'm pretty sure Daniel will never forget the tense drive to the Levin courthouse, with his father-in-law (eek!), to get the required documents before close of business. Our rehearsal was cut short, which may have contributed to a few more hiccups the following day!

My bouquet of David Austin Juliets

After a week of unrelenting sun, I was actually quite relieved to wake up on the morning of the wedding to find it was overcast with light showers. I spent the morning laying low at my parents' house, while Daniel was left at the farm to oversee the rest of the set up. Feeling slightly nauseous due to a) nerves and b) lack of sleep, it was quite therapeutic to escape to the peaceful studio of my hair and make up guy just down the road. Michael Krehl usually does prosthetic make up (!), but had kindly agreed to do my wedding day hair and make up. He did a fabulous job, and to Daniel's disappointment I didn't come out looking like an orc. I spent the remaining hour practising my speech and nervously eating cake whilst trying not to spoil my make up. 

The Stretch Tent all decorated and ready to go.

Blissfully unaware was I at this stage that the vicar had got the time wrong, and had only just turned up at the church minutes before me! Daniel had spent 30 sweaty minutes wondering where he was, and the guests were slightly flummoxed about what was going on. My sister greeted me as I got out of the car with another last minute detail we had overlooked, who were our witnesses? Did I also mention that I put the ring on Daniel's right hand, the music that we'd spent way too much time choosing was barely audible, and I forgot to collect my bouquet as I headed out of the church. As if on cue, the rain started to come down, and I was bustled into the car … an honest woman at last. 

Food and flowers

With the formalities out of the way, Daniel and I were free to relax and enjoy the rest of the day. Oh, did I mention I'm 6 months pregnant? I enjoyed the rest of the day with my one glass of bubbles. The rain cleared and a mild evening followed with pink skies and no wind. The Stretch Tent marquee looked beautiful despite the slight flower shortage, the food was divine and the DJ (thank you Lily Chalmers!) had everyone on the dance floor, including our dog Woody who decided to join us for the first dance.

At sunset we raced up the hill in the ute with our photographer and took some portraits on the farm. Our photographer, Cole from Nordica Photography, had come all the way from Sweden to document some Kiwi weddings, and we were lucky enough to be one of them. I will certainly be posting the photos at a later date!

We made it to the church!

(Daniel in his Izzy and Jean tie, me in my sequin bolero made by the very clever Lisa Durr)

Our final hiccup, was discovering we had no petrol in the car to drive to our wedding night accommodation. Luckily we discovered a Levin service station open at midnight, where we purchased chippies, chocolate and petrol in our wedding clothes, to the surprise of the polite young man working the graveyard shift.

All in all, a perfectly imperfect day!


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Karen Clarkson
Karen Clarkson

March 04, 2014

What a beautiful story and a beautiful couple! Isn’t it funny despite all the hiccups it still is just about two people and their love for each other that always reigns above all else. Loved reading this blog. Thanks for sharing :)

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