The Wedding Day – We say I Do
We’re doing something a little different with this post and writing about our wedding day from both of our points of view – Matt will be in bold and Dayna is in italics then we’ve finished writing it together. Enjoy!
You can read about all the little details like the dress, location, flowers etc here.
The night before
After saying goodbye to Matt at the end of our pre-wedding guest picnic in the park, I wondered when or even if I was going to be hit with the overwhelming realisation that we were getting married. I’d spent the last two years excited for the day I’d get to call Matt my husband but it always felt more like a dream than a reality. I wasn’t one of those women who was overwhelmed by finding my dress, Matt and I have lived together for so many years and done everything together so it already felt like we were married. Maybe it was just going to be another thing we did together and I’d be calm, cool, and collected.
When I got back to my hotel room, my bridesmaids joined me and it was the first time they had all been together. I had Courtney, Danielle, Marissa, and Jenah from Canada, Jessie from New Zealand, and Cath from NZ but who currently lives in the UK. It was so surreal having all these girls in the same room. We filled up the candy buffet jars (treating ourselves to some of it at the same time), drank champagne, caught up, worked on the bouquets and my hair piece, and watched one of my favourite movies, The Princess Bride. It was low key and perfect and my only complaint is that it didn’t last longer but I needed my beauty sleep and was in bed and dreaming by 1am.
Whilst Dayna was next door enjoying The Princess Bride I had my family around me in my room. Living on the other side of the world makes these moments all the more special – it was awesome having all of us together. After a few drinks I was left alone to write out my speech which I had planned out in my head but not got around to actually writing out. After a few attempts I gave up because the nerves/excitement were making my hand writing even more terrible than it is usually. It looked like a 5 year old trying to write out their name for the first time so there was no chance I’d be reading from that the next day. Luckily I soon got more drinking buddies to procrastinate with as my best men Jono and Craig turned up to continue our tradition of whiskeys the night before the wedding. We didn’t have quite the setting that we had last time for Craig’s wedding (a sky garden in the Irish countryside) but I’m still glad we got to continue the tradition. The combination of whiskey and a long day meant I actually managed to fall asleep pretty easily once we ran out of whiskey.
Before the ceremony
I woke up an hour before my alarm wide awake. This never happens so I figured the best thing to do was to get up and start gathering up everything for an easy transition to my mom’s room where we’d all be getting ready. We didn’t need to leave for the venue until 3:30pm but since we had a lot of girls wanting hair & makeup, we had to start that at 8am.
Everyone went before me which was nice because I had time to just chill out with everyone which is exactly how I wanted the morning to go. A couple of my lovely bridesmaids made a run for Starbucks and my dream of having a Bride label on my cup came true.
It was pretty much the only thing I ate/drank because I think some nerves had kicked in and my stomach was just not into the leftover snacks from our picnic. That is, until my brothers turned up with poutine and let me have a bite.
Those 7 hours were the fastest I’ve ever experienced. There was just so much activity going on that the time flew right by. In the middle of it all, Matt sent me a bouquet of beautiful flowers along with an infinity bracelet from Tiffany’s. Dude has good taste!
Before I knew it, we were loading everything into the car and driving to the venue.
We had about an hour to set up a couple finishing touches and get everyone dressed. I spent a few minutes with our photographer deciding where to hide our GoPro so it could capture the ceremony and it was nice to have a few moments mostly to myself. I headed back to the yurt to discover the only thing we had forgotten was chalk and the venue had some anyway so lucked out with that!
I had arranged for a couple bottles of cider ‘champagne’ to be in the yurt for us but without a bottle opener, we struggled to get them open and ultimately gave up on them. Probably for the best though as I didn’t need bubbles in my tummy while wearing a fitted dress and settled for water instead.
Finally, it was time for me to get dressed. As I was, our celebrant came in to collect the licence etc so I poked my head out to say hi and Neville was right there to take a picture – that dude didn’t miss a moment!
I had a pretty terrible night’s sleep and woke up sick as a dog. I’m not sure if it was nerves or something I ate but either way I was not feeling too flash. I dragged myself over to the florist for an important task though – buying some flowers to get delivered to Dayna.
The preparation for getting ready for the wedding as a guy is a lot less time intensive than for the girls (we’re just naturally good looking I guess?) so we headed off to play tennis and kill some time. Turned out we killed a little too much time but the guys were good best men and boosted my ego by letting me win at least.
By the time we got back from tennis I was a little behind schedule to have a shower and get ready before Neville turned up to snap a few photos of us (I think he just needed a break from being in a room packed full of girls). While Neville was hanging out with us I had a gift from Dayna delivered. My Dad couldn’t be there with us on the day so Dayna had cufflinks made with a picture of me and my Dad walking on the beach back in Timaru. So he was in there in spirit (or in cufflink) at least.
It was probably the first time I stopped and thought about the fact I was marrying Dayna that day and got a bit more excited (and started forgetting about how sick I felt).
The girls were driving out separately but us boys had the pleasure of joining the cool kids on the bus out to the venue. I was watching the clock and started getting a little stressed again when the driver (very kindly) stopped for us at the lookout to enjoy the view for a few moments. Problem was that we had a schedule to keep to and we were quickly getting behind.
Getting to the venue we were running a little late and by the time I got down to the venue we needed to be quick getting the music sorted.
Unfortunately Spotify decided at this point to throw a little bit of a tantrum (after not having any issues when testing the playlists etc). We had Spotify premium and the playlists were all downloaded and available offline but my phone decided it wanted to make things interesting by not playing. After a bit of panic and having to turn the data on my phone on to connect and then turning it off again and crossing my fingers, it all seemed to work fine and we got the playlist started. Too bad none of us knew there was a well hidden Go Pro sitting ready to be turned on – at least it’ll make us laugh when we look back on our wedding photos and see the little photobombing Go Pro in the background.
Waiting at the front/walking down the aisle
Somewhere along the line, a little bit of miscommunication happened that meant we were a little late to start walking down the aisle so I quickly rushed everyone out the door, lined them up, and told them to starting walking!
I had my Dad on my arm as I came out of the yurt and as soon as I stepped out, a rush of sheer panic rushed over me and I started shaking. The gravity, excitement, nervousness, and every other emotion possible hit me all at once and I went totally weak in the knees. I felt like I was going to pass out and that there was no way I was going to be able to walk down the aisle. I grabbed my Dad tight and asked him how fast he could run. All I remember is me babbling “holy s**t”, and “how did you do this 5 times?”, and ultimately, “I just need to see Matt’s face, and I’ll be fine”. My Dad said next to nothing, and was just the solid rock I needed him to be. He’s good like that.
Sure enough, as soon as I saw Matt I completely relaxed and the only emotion I felt was excitement.
We were chilling out listening to the playlist that took so long to get playing when we got the message through some sign language from the girls that they were ready to start walking down the aisle. A little sooner than we planned but my sister Josie (who was the designated wedding music DJ), duly flicked over to the walking down the aisle music for the bridesmaids (a flashback to a few years ago for us – an instrumental version of Bruno Mars’ “Just the way you are”). Our lack of rehearsal came back to haunt us a little bit when the girls took a bit longer than expected to walk down (that’s what happens when you have six bridesmaids I guess). We were left with a bit of dramatic silence for effect before we decided to repeat the song again for a bit.
And then it was time for Dayna’s entry to John Legend’s “All Of Me”…
We were lucky enough to both have our Mum’s do a reading for us. We had asked for them to come up with their own so we didn’t know what they were going to say until the ceremony.
One uninvited guest helped give us some laughs and let us relax a bit. The guest was a little hitch-hiker that Dayna had picked up on the walk down the aisle – a big fat fly who was making his home under the first layer of Dayna’s dress. We weren’t aware at first but a few of the girls noticed and were struggling to keep it together…
Well done to Courtney who stepped up to wrestle the little guy free.
There he is, even stopping to let Neville take his photo before leaving us for his next gig.
After the fly we had a few more laughs before trying to keep a straight face and avoid mispronouncing any words in our vows. I was a bit nervous I was going to come out with complete gibberish when trying to repeat the marriage commissioner’s words but I think managed to get through. And both of us said the correct names so that’s always good (although I was very tempted to play to Dayna’s love of Friends and say Rachel instead of Dayna).
And in no time at all, we were married.
After a few squinty group and family portraits (we had to battle the sun shining in to our eyes), we let our guests relax by the pond with food and lots of yummy cider while we went with Neville to get some photos of the bridal party then just the two of us. It also gave them a chance to get their photo taken in our DIY photobooth for our ‘guestbook’.
As we had both had a pretty long day, we were really looking forward to the delicious meal Merridale prepared for us. Our ‘grand entrance’ was to City of Blinding Lights by U2 as we’re both big fans of the band and love that song. All the music of the day had special meaning to us.
Our MC for the day was Dayna’s younger brother, Lance. He rocked it and had everyone laughing or awwing and just did the best job we could’ve asked for. Also, his suit was amazing and earned him the nickname of Ron Burgundy.
In between the courses, we finally had a chance to mingle with the guests and chat with family we hadn’t seen in ages.
Our nephews found a different way to entertain themselves…ahhh candid moments.
Soon it was time for speeches, and Dayna’s Dad was up first. We found out the next day that he cut it short as he knew he was about to lose it. But not before he got a classic Dad joke in.
Then Dayna’s sister, Courtney, gave her Maid of Honour speech which was so sweet and thoughtful even though she had written it on the back of an envelope at the last minute.
The Groomsmen, Craig and Jono, were up next with their “50 shades of Matt” speech. Matt was particularly grateful that the boys had thick kiwi accents as his new Canadian family barely understood a word they said.
Lance added some more (unintentional) humour in to the night when he forgot about the final two speeches (the bride and groom) and the slide show that was planned as he started to usher everyone in to the dance floor prematurely. Guess the dude just wanted to have a dance.
Then it was on to our speeches where we tried to simultaneously make fun of each other and say how much we loved each other at the same time. Matt isn’t giving himself enough credit here – thanks to him being a part of Toast Masters, his speech was amazing. It was funny and sweet and everyone loved it and couldn’t stop telling me that! Dayna’s wasn’t bad either!
We then go to enjoy an awesome slideshow that our sisters had led the charge on putting together. It was the perfect mix of nostalgia and embarrassing childhood photos.
Lance finally got to announce what he wanted when we moved up to the dance floor for our first dance or first lip sync battle as we called it (we are not gifted in the dancing department so outside of a bit of a high school dance shuffle we always fall back to lip syncing) to Don’t Stop Believin’ which is a song that’s followed us since the beginning of our relationship. I believe I once serenaded Dayna with the song in a bar back on my first trip up to Canada in 2007. I think my singing voice convinced her I was a keeper even back then.
The photobooth was a hit too – so many awesome photos! (even if a few of them came out blurry – we will definitely be installing a big montage of these on our wall one day)
It seemed like the whole day and night went so fast. It’s a big cliche that your wedding day will rush past but wow, it felt like a couple of hours had passed and we were suddenly left with just each other as we said goodbye to the ill-fated bus ride home (sorry guys, a bunch of cider and wine and then a bus ride along a windy road is never a good combination!).
We did manage to have one last little photo shoot with the night sky as our back drop:
Thanks again so much to everyone that helped out and was there to celebrate with us – it was truly an amazing day that we will never forget.
*to see ALL the photos, please click this link: https://flic.kr/s/aHsk5fxizo