easy child's wedding (long)

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by Marguerite, May 15, 2009.

  1. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    The saga of the wedding.

    We drove to Newcastle on the Wednesday (29 April), not rushing. We left about 11 am after I had rung the school to talk to SpEd about the latest report on difficult child 3. We arranged to drop in on the way through the city.

    We were bringing a car load; we collected easy child 2/difficult child 2 & BF2 on the way through, so they were with us as I got us lost in the city (took a wrong turn, found ourselves on the mandatory entry to the southern route back out of the city, almost to the airport before we could get off and head back - husband not happy with me!). But we got to the school in time for lunch, and the SpEd was looking out for me. The kids came in with me so they could use the toilets, then easy child 2/difficult child 2 & BF2 headed off to Harry's Café de Wheels (a historic takeaway joint; BF2 had a craving for Harry's hot dogs) while difficult child 3 headed for a burger at HIS favourite place. Business concluded, lunch eaten, we were back on the road and heading out of the city fairly quickly.

    We arrived in Newcastle mid-afternoon, checked in to our rooms and then headed round to see easy child & BF1 (I need to re-do my sig - he's now sister in law). We headed out for a fairly early dinner then back to the room for some sleep. I was really tired, but then easy child 2/difficult child 2 rang on the house phone - cable had "St Trinian's" on, I got caught up watching it. VERY funny!

    Had a rough night, I don't sleep well on the first night in a new bed. Thursday - husband & I had borrowed easy child's sat-nav, drove to a few places we needed to go to (including a Highland supply place to get some clan crest badges and sgian dubh, plus a new sporran belt). Back for a late lunch with the kids. By this time, family were beginning to arrive. We had the motel almost completely booked out with wedding guests, mostly family. Most due to arrive on Friday, but husband's mother, sister in law, brother in law & nieces arrived on Thursday, as did the groomsmen. Also due to arrive were difficult child 1 & daughter in law. We didn't expect them until after dinner, daughter in law couldn't leave until after work finished at 5 pm and it is about four hours driving.

    At 3 pm we drove to the wedding reception place and helped set out the candles/place markers as well as met up with BF1's mother, who was testing out her pain relief to see how much she would need to get her through the wedding next day. We all then headed off to dinner together. Not a real wedding rehearsal dinner because we don't do that in Australia as a rule, it just turned out that way. We weren't partying or anything, just all talking while we ate dinner together at the club. Then time for bed and an early night, we headed back to the motel.

    difficult child 1 & daughter in law still hadn't arrived by 8.30, so I rang to find out where they were.
    Still an hour away, so we went ahead and organised their check-in. By 10 pm they still hadn't arrived, so I rang again. Turned out they had missed the turn-off, and gone inland. Great.
    Background - if you drive north to Newcastle, you reach a subtle fork in the highway. This is because Lake Macquarie, a huge saltwater lake around which the city of Newcastle is wrapped, is a big barrier.

    If you're driving north towards Brisbane, the main highway takes you inland on the western side of the lake. THis bypasses Newcastle city and instead skirts the western suburbs.
    But we needed to head towards Newcastle city, we were staying in the suburb of Belmont.
    To go this way, you need to take a LEFT exit, which then swings over the highway and goes to the right (the east). Now, the old road which headed via the bypass to the Brisbane route, used to be the left-hand turn, and that was the one difficult child 1 was used to, from all the years of us travelling that way. Also, my brother (his uncle) lives on the west of the lake, and we always used to go inland. It's only since easy child & BF1 moved to Belmont, that we drive towards the east. And difficult child 1 has never been there!

    We'd given careful instructions and printed out the "whereis.com" info. And yes- he'd missed the turn.

    On the phone I spoke to daughter in law. "We're driving back south, is it anywhere near Charlestown?"
    "Wonderful!" I said. "Yes, head for Charlestown. Then head south from there. When you get to Belmont shops, we're about five minutes south of there. Stop when you get to the bridge over the mouth of the lake, you will have gone too far."

    I waited half an hour. Longer. No sign of them. Afteer an hour I got a phone call. "Great!" screams difficult child 1. "We're back in Wyong!"
    That was halfway back to Sydney.

    husband was in bed and asleep. But I had to wake him up, in case he needed to go drive to wherever the kids were, and use the GPS to navigate to them and lead them back. Meanwhile I talked to the kids again, tried to talk them round the difficult turnoff. Next time I rang, they were just down the road but had got lost again. I knew the area well enough, but by now the motel sign had been turned off. So I stood out in the driveway, on the edge of one of Australia's major highways, on the phone and wearing my red Snoopy pyjamas, at midnight, and waved to them as they drove past so they would know where to turn!

    Needless to say, I didn't get to sleep much on Thursday night. difficult child 1 & daughter in law drove in just as the bucks party blokes got back from the club, along with BF1 (now sister in law).

    Wedding day dawned. No time to slack off, a lot to do. More family checking in over the morning, but I had to be at easy child's place with easy child 2/difficult child 2 at 9 am, for make-up and hair. I was so tired, only two hours' sleep, if that, with difficult child 3 coughing non-stop. easy child hadn't slept much either.

    At 9 am husband drove me and easy child 2/difficult child 2 (chief bridesmaid) round to easy child's place. He dropped us off with our clothes and make-up, then headed back to see to the rest of the family. A make-up person and hairdresser did our hair and make-up (frying our hair in the process, you could see the smoke spiralling up from the tongs) so after our hair was done, there was no way I could go lie down and catnap.
    So we drank champagne (low-alcohol) and watched bride movies such as "Mama Mia!" and "My Best Friend's Wedding". husband turned up, having supervised difficult child 1 putting on a Scottish kilt for the first time ever. husband has worn a kilt before, he turned up already dressed. He'd left difficult child 3 with difficult child 1, taking themselves round to the reception place. They ferried husband back from there after dropping off our car. Unfortunately, all the bags etc tat should have been driven round to the reception place were still at easy child's.

    The photographer arrived and took photos of the girls in various places around easy child's flat. Then we went outside for some garden photos, just as we saw my brother with his boat, waiting at the jetty for us. So we headed there, me & husband bringing up the rear carrying all the handbags and spare gear.

    Have you ever tried to walk on a jetty in stiletto heels? NOT a good idea... and as for climbing on board a small power boat with its slippery, curved gunwhales, again long dresses and long heels are not a good mix. So on top of the luggage, we now were carrying our shoes. Still, none of us fell in, we got on board safely. My attractive nephew was there opening another bottle of champagne for us all while my brother captained the boat. We arranged ourselves carefully, nephew wiped down the seat from a few splashes, then we set off. For 30 metres, before we ran aground (a few very big girls on board). So we moved to one side. Then to the other. Then to the front. Still no go - we were stuck on a sandbar.
    Exciting - good-looking nephew had to strip to his underdaks (black briefs) to jump overboard and push us off the bank. A bit of a worry, given the sharks in the lake in that area (it's very near the ocean entrance). Of course easy child got some good photos...

    It was the only mishap but it was funny. Nephew quickly wrapped a towel round himself but as we got closer to the reception place he had to get dressed, pulling his trousers on over went undies. And absolutely NO privacy on the small boat!

    We arrived at the restaurant, everyone waiting and watching. Again we gingerly climbed across the boat and once on the jetty, got our shoes back on. Time for the procession - first the bridesmaids, then us. We entered to "Amazing Grace" being played by a lone piper. husband & I both gave our daughter away, under the coral trees, now bare in the autumn afternoon. The service was lovely, they had written their own vows and done a beautiful job.

    We talked afterwards while photos were taken. Canapés were served, we were able to slip some to easy child & sister in law. Just as the sun went down behind the lake it was time to go inside for the main reception.

    easy child's cousins by this stage were in full highland dress and danced for everyone, again to the accompaniment of the lone piper (also in full ceremonial dress).

    My best friend was MC and did a great job. She was sitting with other good friends of ours. I spent a lot of time circulating, grabbing a mouthful here or there. husband gave a speech, the groom's mother gave one also. It cost her dearly, she is not well and wheelchair-bound.

    We had a wonderful night. Everything went off well, all the plans fell into place and easy child seemed so happy and carefree, as if she had not done a thing to organise the wedding but had just left it all up to someone else and had said, "surprise me!"

    When it was time to leave, my brother had arranged for a neighbour to come over to drive the boat taking the newlyweds back to their unit. We waved them off, then began to tidy up. The boat came back half an hour later to collect my brother's family and those staying at his house, on the other side of the lake. We left not long after, getting back to the unit with sore feet and very tired.

    Next morning - time to pack up and leave. The entire motel seemed occupied only by wedding party, mostly family with a few friends thrown into the mix. husband & I waved off most of them then headed round to easy child & sister in law's place with mother in law, sis-in-law and her family. We stayed while they opened their wedding gifts then headed off in different directions. mother in law left with sis-in-law & family in their car, heading home to Sydney. easy child & sister in law headed for his mother's place (to see how she was, after a very physically taxing night for her) while husband, difficult child 3 & I drove round the lake to my brother's place to thank him for his help with the boat. We had easy child 2/difficult child 2 & BF2 with us as well. It was good to relax after the wedding, knowing we were just with family.

    Then it was time for us to head home - we stopped at the Hawkesbury River for takeaway fish lunch, then got home mid-afternoon. We dropped easy child 2/difficult child 2 & BF2 at their unit on the way home.
    easy child & sister in law arrived for dinner, we ate down at mother in law's place, a quick hash together of soup. We needed an early night.

    Next morning, we were again up before sunrise (when was I ever going to get some sleep?) to drive easy child & sister in law to the airport for their dawn flight to Bangkok. We knew sis-in-law & brother in law were to drive their girls (our highland dancers) to the airport a couple of hours later, so husband & I drove to a quiet spot he knows about, in the shadow of Runway 3, and watched the planes take off. We snoozed until we saw easy child & brother in law's plane leave, then half an hour later it was time to get ready to collect sis-in-law, brother in law & mother in law from the airport (they were leaving their rental car there).
    Sounds tricky, it's the downside of us living in an isolated pocket of Sydney, on the "island".

    From there we had a family outing, to take all our minds off our missing children. Sis-in-law's girls had to get back to attend school/uni, plus we'd left difficult child 3 at home (his cold was getting worse).

    We've had sis-in-law & brother in law staying for the rest of the time, another week or more, they flew home last Monday. husband & I dropped them off at the airport (another pre-dawn departure) on the way to difficult child 3's school for a meeting. Again we catnapped in the car.

    We've had a total of six weeks now, with pre-sunrise starts each weekend at least. Hopefully this weekend will be the first quiet one.

    Since the wedding, we've been getting emails most days from the honeymoon couple. They've travelled through Thailand, caught a train into Malaysia and in a few days will be in Singapore. They're having a wonderful time, but we miss them. It was interesting to get today's email and read how they visited the same snake temple that husband & I visited 31 years ago, on our honeymoon to Malaysia.

    So there you have it - the wedding story. Wedding No 2.

    Six months until the next one!

    Last edited: May 15, 2009
  2. mstang67chic

    mstang67chic Going Green

    After reading that, I think I need to go back to bed! Wow! What a week! Sounds like, for a wedding anyway, that everything went off without much of a hitch. Are you planning on posting pics of the nephew in his undies??? :devil: (Good thing they were BLACK undies! LOL)

    Glad to hear the kids are having a good time on their honeymoon. That's neat that they are seeing some of the same things you and husband did on yours. Maybe it will be somewhat of a tradition!

    Now....the weekend is here (for you )...go get some sleep!!! Tell everyone not to wake you unless there is major blood loss or the house is burning down. And even then...only if it will definately spread to where you are sleeping. Otherwise you are off limits till at least mid morning!
    Last edited: May 15, 2009
  3. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    What an awesome family experience. I got exhausted reading the blow by blow, lol, but picked up all the good vibes that come with once in a lifetime experiences. I'm happy for you all. DDD
  4. trinityroyal

    trinityroyal Well-Known Member

    Marg, it sounds like the wedding was just beautiful.
    I agree with the others. This is the weekend for you to put your feet up and get some well needed and well deserved rest. With another wedding coming up in 6 months, take the rest while you can.

    And...on an unrelated note, thank you for providing me with the correct spelling of sgian dubh. Many years ago, I had a PT job in a men`s formal clothing shop, which also did Highland dress. I`ve heard the word pronounced many times, but have never seen it written down. You`ve solved a mystery of the ages for me.

  5. KTMom91

    KTMom91 Well-Known Member

    It sounds like a wonderful time was had by all!
  6. mstang67chic

    mstang67chic Going Green

    You mean that's REAL? I just thought Marg's fingers went really wonky on the keyboard because of exhaustion! :rofl:
  7. Star*

    Star* call 911........call 911

    Marg -

    Thanks for the post. I almost forgot it's Fall where you are. I bet that water was cold for your nephew.

    Okay - I've tried also, to walk on a jetty in stilhettos - not happening...don't care how balanced you are - just not happening.

    I bet you are exhausted. Thanks also for the map. When you don't travel the picture you get in your mind from what you were saying was totally different - with the map and visual aids - it made it more realistic. I enjoyed the story.

    Here's a picture of the sock knives......lol......

    HOW many more to go? lol
  8. WhymeMom?

    WhymeMom? No real answers to life..

    Sounds like a wonderful event. Thank you for sharing, and glad it was the good looking nephew that was in the water in undies only......... made for some pre-wedding entertainment........
  9. gcvmom

    gcvmom Here we go again!

    I'm still laughing about the sandbar incident -- hysterical! :rofl:

    Congratulations to the happy couple!
  10. mrscatinthehat

    mrscatinthehat Seussical

    Wow, I can understand how you would be tired. Sounds wonderful.

  11. Fran

    Fran Former desparate mom

    What a wonderful description. I am so looking forward to my son's getting married some day. Hopefully to someone that doesn't mind our whacky family.
    Thanks Marguerite for the update. Congratulations to the young bride and groom as they start their life together.
  12. Wiped Out

    Wiped Out Well-Known Member Staff Member

    It sounds wonderful. I agree with the others, time to rest now!
  13. Nomad

    Nomad Guest

    Lovely description!!!!
    We've got a wedding coming up in our family as well.
  14. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    As I type this, husband is going through photos to place them onto a flickr link. We'll have them up soon.

    About the sgian dubh (pronounced "skee-an doo") - it's a ceremonial knife to be worn tucked into the top of the sock. I remember a flatmate who had the full knife in scabbard in his sock, but these days (especially with our knife laws) people just have a false knife hilt made of plastic, designed to look like the real thing. Much cheaper, too. Although we could get around the laws by claiming ceremonial dress, it does still cause trouble when officials get officious, in the same way some clubs which require headwear to be removed, will refuse entry to Sikhs unless thye take off their turbans.

    The problem with the jetty - these ones were made form slats of timber, with wide spaces between just right for snagging a stiletto heel. As we walked easy child in, I snagged a heel and nearly fell, I had to stop and haul hard on the heel to wrench it loose.

    I was talking to best friend (the MC) yesterday about the wedding, she mentioned how after the ceremony she and difficult child 3 were leaning on the railing overlooking the jetty, watching the sharks swimming underneath. So nephew was right to be nervous. PLus there have been shark attacks recently, under just those circumstances. It's because there have been fishing bans on sharks (and often on other fish) and this has pushed numbers up.

    The water temperature - it would have been about 22 C, or 71 F.

    The patch of green to the right is where we had the ceremony. The reception was in the long room right next to that area.
    It's so close to the lake entrance there, that as the tide goes in and out, the current runs really fast, so fast it creates a wake on the boats which are moored. Imagine a bow wave on a moored boat! Look at the photo at the bottom of the Milanos link, you can see the way the water is swirling from the tidal flow. It's often even more obvious than that.
    Fish of all sizes gather there for food and shelter, it's good fishing there. The headland just to the north of this spot is a mangrove, plus there are more mangroves nearby. Fish nurseries. Again, rich source of fishy food. easy child's place is just on the other side of the mangrove headland immediately to the north, five minutes away either by car or boat. We could have walked there, if there had been a path. It was so close, because it needed to be close for sister in law's mother who can't travel far.

    I can't rest too much this weekend, husband is sick and needs a bit of TLC. It's probably the same cold difficult child 3 was fighting during the wedding, he gave it to everyone else and as husband & I were sharing a single boxy motel room with difficult child 3 and his coughing, we could hardly fail to be infected.

  15. Abbey

    Abbey Spork Queen

    I need a nap after reading this.:tongue:

    It looks like you all had a wonderful time despite a few glitches. You could have flown me in to DJ the reception...

    I wish the young couple well and you looked beautiful. Nice job, mom.

  16. Estherfromjerusalem

    Estherfromjerusalem Well-Known Member

    Wow! Thank you for the detailed description. Sounds as if you all had a wonderful time. What a difficult operation to perform -- sounds like a military campaign!

    I wish the young couple everything good in their life together.

    Love, Esther
  17. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    You're so right, esther, about it seeming like a military campaign - the amazing thing to us, was that it was easy child who had it all organised, down to the last detail. She made the invitations, she chose the decorations and had even bought the little candles she used on the tables as combined bomboniere and place markers. She printed out clear labels to stick on each candle, arranged them in order or red/white/red/white, got them all in the right order and had them packed into boxes for us all to take around to the place and put them out. She had the seating arrangement prited on each box and then also printed out a more decorative seating plan to put on display. All this - and still so calm, so happy as if she hadn't done a thing but left it all to someone else. In the photos you see her always smiling, or laughing. That was how the day went. She was aglow. And sister in law - so happy, so proud to finally take this step. He is making his way in the world despite a very rough start and difficult upbringing.

  18. Marg's Man

    Marg's Man Member

    One thing we haven't mentioned which brought a tear to the eye of evryone who witnessed it.

    sister in law is the only child of a couple who separated when he was very young (4 or 5 years old, I think) when his mother was sverely injured in accident that broke her neck. The fracture never healed properly and she varies between laboured movement on sticks and paraplegia with the constant threat that the unstable part of her spine will move and kill her. Her husband belonged to a religion that couldn't accept her disability and told him to leave her, which he did leaving his son to be the primary carer of his mother. About ten years later, he returned and asked his son to leave his mother and go with him. The b*****d is dead now but, understandably sister in law never regarded him as a true father.

    When sister in law came up to me after the ceremony and said, "NOW, I've got someone I can truly call 'Father'." I was floored but I'm very happy for him to call me 'Father' or preferably 'Dad'. I don't think the man ever realized what a special bloke he had sired.

    Marg's Man
  19. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    We heard from easy child & sister in law again tonight (email). They're heading for Singapore in a couple of days, they should be back in Sydney on Saturday. Time has just gone so quickly! They will have taken a great many photos, I'll have to get some to add to the flickr site (see our other post about the wedding photos).

  20. Abbey

    Abbey Spork Queen

    Singapore is beautiful. It's a very safe place on this earth. Just remind them not to chew gum there. They take great pride of their city streets. Don't want any tossed out wads of gum. Also, do NOT buy anything that is illegal from street vendors. I'm not talking drugs, but mainly gemstones. They're beautiful and plentiful and cheap there, but it is illegal to take them out of the country. One thing you do NOT want to do is get arrested there.

    (Don't ask me how I know all of this.)