Monday, January 24, 2011

The name is Bond - James Bond

Ever since I was a little girl I have loved watching James Bond movies.  I think it is the thrill of the chase, the adventure and the departure from the ordinary that appeals to me, because I also really loved Indiana Jones, and other fantasy/adventure type movies, books, TV shows, etc.  When the reality TV buzz hit, it was shows like Survivor and Amazing Race that keep me coming back season after season. 

When we started looking at transport for the wedding, the biggest hurdle was getting the guests from the Church in Broome down to Eco Beach, a mere 1 hour drive away!  Thankfully most of our family and friends have decided to drive up and hence will have their own cars, which makes this a lot easier.  For those who are flying up, we have asked them to advise us when the RSVP if they require transport.

So that leaves us (as in the bridal party).  How do we have our photos around Broome and then still get down to Eco Beach in time for the 2pm reception?!

We considered a 'first look' with photos etc before the ceremony, but given we are having a 10am ceremony this just wasn't going to be feasible.  Plus, GiB is also a bit traditional and steadfastly refused to even contemplate the idea of seeing me before the ceremony.

It was our dear friend W who came up with the solution - helicopters!!!!!!!!

As soon as he said it I was hooked.  Did he mean that on our wedding day, I could actually channel my inner James Bond?!?

Short answer - yes.

And so the investigations began.  GiB was reluctant thinking the cost may be too prohibitive, but we have found 3 different companies around the Broome area that do charter flights, so that is GiB's job for today - to call them all and find out how much it will cost to transport 9 people to Eco Beach on a Monday lunchtime in August.

Just between you and me - I am holding my breath and crossing all my fingers and toes that this turns out ok!

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Blue suede shoes

I already have my main 'something blue' - thanks to Bowie Bride.  These have already been ordered and received [side note: I also got some pink ones for the honeymoon to suprise GiB as we are planning some remote beach related outings!].

But given that our 'wedding colours' are blue and white, and the bridesmaids are wearing blue dresses, I also thought it appropriate to wear blue shoes.  Blue shoes is something I can easily show guests when they ask about my 'something blue', just in case I needed any further justification to buy a new pair of fabulous shoes - which I didn't!

So I have been doing a bit of a search online and so far these are definitely my favourites:

Although, I am not too sure about the height.  I am already considering buying some flats for later in the evening, but the problem is more the fact that GiB is not that much taller than me to begin with and I do not want to be a behemoth at the wedding!  Also, the hem on my dress may not need alterations depending on the height of shoe I ultimately decide to go with (and I have a sneaky suspicion that these will be too high and it is impossible to add length to the hem!).  Luckily, the talented lady of LaPlumeEthere also makes these with a smaller heel, which gives me even more food for thought! 

The other option is to have some shoe clips made by this lovely lady, which I can then simply clip onto whichever pair of shoes I end up buying.  Sweetgrassmill has already been commissioned to make matching fascinators for my girls, who are otherwise having mismatched blue dresses and silver shoes.  On discussion with the girls they all loved the different options Sweetgrassmill was displaying, and also the idea of having some continuity amongst them in the form of matching headwear - but still satisfying my desire to avoid the 'matchy-matchy' bridesmaid look.

What I need now from you guys is some help - what do you think I should do?  Any other suggestions for fabulous blue shoes in a similar theme to the above?

Monday, January 10, 2011

What a weekend!

Where do I start?

It was a very busy, satisfying, emotionally draining weekend.

My mum and I attended the Hopman Cup Tennis finals on Saturday afternoon - we always try and go to at least a couple of games at the one WA tennis tournament each year and this year we went to the finals! Although Australia didn't make it (C'mon Hewitt!) it was still a very close match between Belgium and USA. USA ultimately won but it came down to the mixed doubles to decide it. It was great to see USA win without the benefit of one of the Williams' sisters too!

Saturday evening I picked GiB up from our local pub, where he had gone with a few mates and was very merry by the time I got there!

Sunday GiB and I went looking at houses, going to several home openings in our area. Although we currently own our own house (or at least the bank does!) we have started to talk about upgrading and are looking around the same area as where we live now. We like the area, the neighbourhood is quite nice, good access to the city for work but still far enough away to avoid the congestion and only a short walk to the beach!

We thought we had found our dream home - and made an appointment for the mortgage broker to come round in the afternoon to discuss things. And that is where the bubble kind of burst. Unfortunately, we don't have enough equity in our current home, and nowhere near enough in savings (which is our wedding savings anyway), to pay the required deposit. GiB was a little disheartened by this, but after some discussion we came up with an alternative plan - to increase our current repayments, which will increase our equity foundation, and then re-assess things towards the end of the year, after the wedding. This sits well with me as it means we are looking to the future but at the same time being realistic with where we currently are. The last thing either of us wants is a huge debt that we can only just service and not be able to still go out for dinner every now and again.

But perhaps the most exciting thing of the weekend - for me anyway - was that on Saturday I decided on, ordered and paid a deposit on my wedding dress!!!!!!

What did you all do over the weekend?

Thursday, January 6, 2011

On tradition - Part 2 - The Reception Venue

Apologies for the length of the last post - hopefully it wasn't so long you lost interest halfway through!

I realise that I said I like traditional weddings, but this in no way means I don't like and appreciate the different types and styles of other people's - it is simply what I thought I wanted for myself. As the planning process has shown me, it turns out that what I had in my head as the ideal wedding for me, was not the ideal wedding for us! which has resulted in some reality checks, and definite widening of horizons.

Ok - so we've decided on Broome and checked out the Church up there. All good so far.

During our holiday last April we also had several appointments lined up to check out different reception venues - from the typical Broome wedding on the grass overlooking the iconic Cable Beach, to Sun Pictures (the outdoor cinema), to the Pearl Luggers museum. We had also considered Eco Beach Wilderness Retreat for several reasons, but had ultimately looked elsewhere given it's location - it is an hour's drive outside of Broome (where the Anglican Church is).

That is - until our dear friends W and N took us over to Eco Beach in their boat.

As we sat on the deck overlooking the infinity pool and the ocean - drinking coronas with lime and eating fresh Kimberley produce for lunch, GiB and I looked at each other and said - "This. This is the vibe we want for our wedding. We want relaxed. We want casual. We want eating and drinking and swimming and eating some more. We want to capture the Sunday sesh atmosphere of chilled out catching up with good close friends".

Chillin' in the pool at Jack's Bar - Eco Beach Wilderness Retreat
But - can we do it?

One of the very helpful guides took us for a wander around the Retreat, with W and his son in tow and told us how it could work.

GiB looked at me and said - "You know - I was thinking we should have a day wedding anyway, I mean, what a waste of a day if I only get to see you in the afternoon? I want to spend my whole wedding day with you - isn't that what it's all about?"

This sounded like a fabulous idea. We would get the whole day together, which would mean the relaxed afternoon/lunchtime reception we wanted, at an ideal location we did not even know we were looking for.

Further investigation revealed that it was all well within our budget too.

Fated really.

And that my friends - is how we ended up deviating from the typical afternoon ceremony, dinner reception, and decided on a 10am wedding followed by a lunchtime reception - in Broome!

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

On tradition - Part 1 - The Church

Yes, I will admit it. I will stand up proudly and say "I like traditional weddings".

The GiB and I have been to A LOT of weddings over the last few years, including those of some very close friends. These weddings have varied from churches, to gardens, to beaches, cocktail receptions and full sit down 3 course dinners. They have all been different and unique and wonderful.

Now that we are planning our own wedding - well, where to start?!?

I thought I knew what I wanted:
  1. I wanted a white wedding - I wanted to wear a white dress and look and feel like a princess.
  2. I wanted to get married in a Church (I am a practising Anglican).
  3. I wanted to walk down the aisle and see GiB smile, maybe even cry.
  4. I wanted to cry (tears of joy).
  5. I wanted to have lots of beautiful photos.
  6. I wanted to have an awesome party - with dancing.
There is a lot in the blogging world about sitting down with your partner and trying to decide what it is you want out of your day as a start to the planning process. However, that hasn't really worked for us.

One post I read recently was this one here. What really resonated with me about this post was the fact that "As the process has moved along, we sort of figured out what we wanted along the way". That is infinitely true for GiB and me.

Case in point: the Church - and how we ended up in Broome....

GiB is not religious - at all.

But he knows that a Church wedding is important to me and he is happy to get married in a Church. He still wants input into the service, which is great as I want this to be a collaborative effort.

Initially - I always thought I wanted a big Church wedding at Christ Church Claremont. This place is very special to me - it is where I really found who God was for me, where I was an altar server and communion minister, where I used to sing taize and play my clarinet. It is also the first Church I had ever been to outside of where I grew up as a kid, where my dad served as a student when he was going through his training for the priesthood (a story for another time).

But that was part of my life when I was 15.

When GiB and I went back there shortly after we got engaged, we went inside and as I sat in the back pew there was - nothing.

Sure, I still felt that peace and sense of God and soul I always get in one of the big high Churches, the Churches that look and feel like what my Grandad would term a 'proper' Church. But it wasn't 'us'.

It's not a Church I have worshipped at since GiB and I have been together. Despite the fact that GiB does not go to Church at all, it is not a Church that represents or speaks to us as a couple.

Although I still love it for Midnight Mass at Christmas with the organs, the stained glass, the choirs, the incense, the pomp and ceremony of the whole thing - it doesn't suit us and it won't suit our wedding.

This ultimately affected our decision to get married in Broome. We had been toying with the idea of a destination wedding for some time, particularly as a way of legitimately keeping the invite list small (GiB has a very large extended family). When I realised that Christ Church just wasn't going to work for us I was instantly more amenable to considering other options. Although, it required a trip to Broome to check out the much smaller Anglican Church there and see if that would work!!

We took that trip in April last year, and it was then that our plans really started to take shape. We had been engaged for nearly a year by then.

We rocked up at the little weatherboard church on a very humid, stinking hot April day:

Pretty cute huh?

The Reverend Tim Mildenhall met us and very enthusiastically showed us around - pointing out various features, such as the updated sound system, the lectern, and the gorgeous woodwork around the altar. GiB took some photos and I wandered around trying to get a feel for the place.
View from the side

The lovely front verandah
View of the altar from the back - 'Peace be still'

The pews

The lectern
  Rev Tim was also very helpful in talking to us about the officiating side of things. We had already asked a priest from Perth to officiate (and at that time he had accepted - more on that drama later!), but Rev Tim kindly offered to assist in any way possible, adding that he was there for more than just help in planning the wedding, but also available to give advice or help on planning our marriage as well. I thought this was lovely. It showed that he was also invested in this process from a spiritual angle and that was very comforting.

Planning a destination wedding is hard when you don't know the area or the suppliers, and particularly somewhere like Broome where everything is so seasonal and you really don't know if the people you talk to now will still be there come wedding time in August. So it was reassuring to know Rev Tim was happy not only to assist with the ceremony side of things, but also with sourcing music, flowers, etc or anything else we needed.

And the main thing - Broome Church suited us! It was small, intimate, casual, quaint, beachy and suited 'the vibe' of what we wanted for our wedding. Although we were still trying to determine just what that 'vibe' was, we knew it when we saw it - especially during that April trip!

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Diamonds and pearls

The Ring.

This was the first thing people asked about when we announced our engagement - closely followed by 'have you picked a date' and 'have you started looking at dresses'.

For those of you who are interested - GiB picked the ring himself, totally on his own, had it designed and made. The only part I knew about was the pearl, which we had bought together about 18 months previously whilst on holiday in Broome, and which ultimately contributed to our decision to get married there.

The previous year we had been on holiday in Broome and went out to visit one of the pearl farms up there: Willie Creek Pearls. The tour included a biology lesson on the anatomy of an oyster, which was opened in front of us. Inside said oyster was the pearl. A small keshi, naturally formed inside the oyster, which had been labelled a renegade because it refused to take any of the seeds they use for farmed pearls (useless piece of trivia - anyone who knows me also knows that I excel at these!). On a bit of a whim we decided to buy it - we had already discussed buying something pearl related whilst in Broome, given it is famous for them, but had so far found the cost a bit prohibitive.

On leaving the pearl farm GiB turned to me and asked if a pearl was the sort of thing that would suit me for an engagement ring. Considering this was the first time GiB had discussed anything wedding or engagement related (he had previously adamantly refused any such discussion), I did not really know how to reply. But given that I had just seen where the pearl grew and came from, and was something we had bought together on a wonderful holiday, the only reply I could think of was - 'of course'.

Little did I know it would be another 18 months before I heard of or even saw that pearl again...

Now, the pearl sits on the third finger of my left hand - in a white gold setting with 3 small diamonds on either side. All in all it is a totally unique, somewhat vintage looking setting that was made by a local independent jeweller - who was excited to assist GiB to design and make the ring as it was so different and unusual from anything he had done for a long time, and not the usual run of the mill, stock standard diamond configurations.

And me - well I couldn't be happier!