Category Archives: Sharing Is Caring

Broke-Assin’.

Oh, hey. Wanna hear somethin’ cool?

My first contribution to The Broke-Ass Bride went up today.

I’m sharing all the deets of a pink-and-zebra jazzy luuurrrrvvveee-filled wedding.

Check it.

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Wedinated: Kim and Rob. Her Take.

We heard from Rob the other day about his and Kim’s traditional Catholic wedding with an Elvis DJ. And, now, since it’s their six-year anniversary, we’ll hear Kim’s take. I’ve emailed with Kim for quite some time now and I know how much she’s grown during their marriage. But there are a few things that haven’t changed: Her love for her family, her beliefs and her ever-evolving love for Rob.

Happy anniversary, you two. xoxo

Name: Kimberley

Age: Currently 27, but age 21 on wedding day

Occupation: Predominantly a housewife and stay at home mother to three children, but studying to become a high school teacher.

Wedding location: St Joseph’s Catholic Church, Subiaco, Western Australia
Reception at Observation City, Scarborough WA

Wedding Date: 18th December 2005

Length of engagement: 1 year (to the day)

Tell me about your wedding: We had a traditional Sunday Catholic mass complete with the Sunday readings. Initially when we were planning this we thought the gospel reading might have been the one where Joseph finds out Mary was pregnant and decides to call off the engagement, which we thought would be slightly ironic, but turns out they were different. We had standard Catholic vows that I was frantically practicing the morning of, as I knew Rob had already memorized his and I didn’t want to be the one who made a mistake! Our wedding mass was performed in a beautiful old church and many of our friends and family actively participated which we are eternally grateful for. We had two priests celebrate mass for us and were blessed
with a beautiful homily, as they knew us well.

We had friends and family ushering, reading, bringing up the gifts, photographing, videoing, alter serving, singing and as our pianist. One of my aunts made my veil and another two aunts made my jewelry; my tiara has now been converted into a bracelet, which I love; and we had friends help with hair, nails and makeup. A family friend made our cake and the flowers decorating it were made by my aunt in Trinidad and were posted over especially for us. We still have those flowers and they’ve adorned the baptismal cakes of our children. Another friend of ours put together our wedding booklets. And our bridal party was filled with family and friends. My youngest cousin was our flower girl and she actually wore my first communion dress on the day.
I loved my wedding dress and it made me feel like a princess for the day. It took four hoops to make it sit properly, and it was very hot under all that material on such a warm day, but I loved every minute in it.

What was your favorite part of your wedding? It’s so hard to sum it up into one little bit, but I think it would be completing our vows and receiving the Eucharist as husband and wife. Rob also organised to have the bells at the church rung as we walked out as they do in all those movies, which was a highlight for me. At our reception I was surprised to see an ice carving of two swans, which was my brother’s wedding present to us and another special memory.

What disasters did you avert … or not avert and how did you deal with it?
As Rob mentioned, the wedding photo location was left to chance, but we have beautiful wedding photos and were lucky enough to have them on the “big screen” at our reception later. I remember walking down the aisle and thinking Rob’s jacket was too big for him, but that wasn’t a disaster. I think the biggest thing was that it was just a really hot day, especially in the church, which was uncontrollable and something we weathered with lots of water. At the reception, I think some of our CDs got mixed up, and our after dinner dance music was put on prior to dinner. With my family, you can’t put dance music on and expect people to sit down, so my sister and brother got up onto the dance floor first, and we just HAD to follow (or at least I did, and dragged Rob along!). We had dancing before dinner, which although wasn’t planned, was great fun.

Was there anything you would have done differently, or do you have any regrets about how something went? No regrets. At the end of the day, some things don’t turn out exactly as you planned, but that’s life and no big deal.

What was your biggest challenge in planning? Trying to do it all whilst completing our final year of university together and writing my thesis for my honours program. I was in Melbourne the weekend before the wedding as part of my honours presentation and Rob was left to complete all the place cards by himself, though I must say he did a really good job.

What lessons did you learn from planning or from the wedding itself?
I think the most important lesson I took away from the process is that after it’s all said and done, a wedding is about two people and their family and friends coming together to celebrate their bond of love and all the trappings end up being far less significant although it’s easy to get caught up in them.

What was your biggest “holyamazeballzI’mfreakininlove!” moment? It would probably be having completed our vows and realizing we were husband and wife, no matter what.

What were your top 5 favorite things about your wedding?
1. My husband
2. Our family and friends that made the day so special and the outpouring of emotion that accompanies weddings.

Brotherly love.

3. The wedding bells
4. Our ice swans
5. My princess dress.
6. The dance floor

Top 5 least favorite?
1. Not getting to the dessert buffet! We’d gone outside for some sunset photos and all the profiteroles had disappeared by the time we got back (although I managed to steal one from my bridesmaid!)
2. The heat
3. It all being over so quickly

What was the worst piece of wedding advice you received?
We came back to our room to find some notes left on our bed by our helpful bridal party! We were asked a few times if we were sure, mainly due to our age.

The best?
Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails.
1 Corinthians 13:4-8

This was our wedding speech and I think it sums up everything one needs in marriage. We were also told that we would grow and learn together and find ourselves at a stage where we’d be able to understand one another with a shared glance across the room. We’re getting there!

If you’ve been married for more than a few years, what have been some challenges?
Having three children together, being a housewife, having a student for a husband, moving, living in a country town, more moving, studying myself, having a husband who works long hours, having children who miss their dad, having children who have personalities of their own to add to the mix, finding time to spend with on another and not taking the little things for granted. The list goes on. It’s challenging to make all the sacrifices that go along with marriage and family, but all of them are worth it.

What from your wedding vows/ceremony still holds the truest?
“I promise to be true to you in good times and in bad, in sickness and in health. I will love you and honor you all the days of my life.”

Any other bits of wisdom?
You know that “holyamazeballzI’mfreakininlove!” moment? I look back now after six years of marriage and marvel at how much our love has changed and grown. The love I had for Rob on our wedding day was miniscule compared to the love we share now, yet there we were vowing to spend our lives together. We’ve both grown and changed over the years and had to accommodate one another’s growth. I’ve learnt that the wedding day is just the first day of marriage and it’s the actions and decisions you make in those coming days, weeks, months and years that shape and strengthen your marriage. It’s not one “holyamazeballzI’mfreakininlove!” moment; it’s a multitude of moments that build on one another over the years.

With their youngest.

It’s been the look on Rob’s face at the birth of each of our children. It’s been my pride in him when he joined the Royal Australian Navy to serve his country and provide for our family. It’s watching him put the time and effort into becoming a medical practitioner and being able to celebrate these milestones with him. It’s watching our children grow into intelligent, strong-willed, creative individuals and knowing that we’ve done this together. It’s been weathering our challenges together and having our love mature over the years.

At our wedding.

I also think it’s vitally important to ensure you learn how to communicate effectively with one another. Not just talking about how your day was, but your hopes, dreams and aspirations. The difficulties you’re experiencing, the fears you have. You need to learn how to actively listen and respond to your spouse. Communication is key to marital happiness. I’d also suggest that you have “date nights” or something similar. Although the “romantic” love tends to fade over the years and mature into something much more significant, it’s important not to take one another for granted, particularly when children come along. Setting aside “date nights” helps to remind you of this.

Wedding photos: Paul Bui
Photo at our wedding: Persimmon Images
Others: Personal

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Over There (Pt. II).

YES. We have arrived.

Kat put our wedding up on Persimmon Images‘ blog today.

CHECK IT.

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Practical.

Hey!!! You guys!!! Need something to read? Something sane, funny and, um, PRACTICAL?

I think you do. So, you should jump on over to Amazon and pick up Meg of A Practical Wedding’s book.

Meg’s been working on it for a while. And it’s only $9.60 for the paperback and $9.99 for the kindle. Hey, even if you aren’t engaged, it’s worth a read. Because she talks about life AFTER the wedding. I know. Awesome.


Get it here.

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Wedinated: Kim and Rob.

Now here’s a treat. I asked Rob if he’d be willing to put it all out there and fill out a Wedinated post. The first evah from the dude’s side. I don’t think a single bone in my body really, truly thought he’d agree to it. But lo and behold!

Rob was one of Aussie’s g-men/Usual Suspects. Kim did a reading during our ceremony. Kim and I grew super close over emailing back and forth for months before the wedding. I instantly fell in love with both of them when we met in person.

Also … I think you’ll recognize a couple others in these pics.

Name: Robert

Age: Currently 27, but age 21 on wedding day

Occupation: Medical practitioner

Wedding location: St Joseph’s Catholic Church, Subiaco, Western Australia
Reception at Observation City, Scarborough WA

Wedding Date: 18th December 2005

Length of engagement: 1 year (to the day)

Tell me about your wedding: We had a traditional Catholic Mass, so most things were standardized (I’m not complaining – I would have sucked at writing vows).

What was your favorite part of your wedding?
There were a few (in no particular order):
1. Seeing Kim at the top of the aisle.
2. Getting her dad to choke up
3. The help and support of so many of our friends and family in most aspects of planning and execution.

What disasters did you avert … or not avert and how did you deal with it?

The biggest one I can think of was not having anywhere planned to do photos between the ceremony and reception. It had been thought of and then forgotten somewhere in the planning process. Luckily we had an awesome photographer who used what we had to come up with some really nice photos.

I also wore the wrong jacket through the ceremony, which was a size too big. By the time I realized, it was too late to swap back, so I was stuck with it. Oops!

Was there anything you would have done differently, or do you have any regrets about how something went?
No regrets, and I can’t think of anything I would have done differently. Not everything was 100% perfect, but it never is, and it doesn’t matter!

What was your biggest challenge in planning?

1. Trying to do it all while studying full-time.
2. We tried to minimize costs wherever possible by doing stuff ourselves. This is great in theory but takes a lot more time.

What lessons did you learn from planning or from the wedding itself?

Don’t take it too seriously. When you spend so much time preparing for something this big it’s easy to get caught up trying to make sure everything goes perfectly. I don’t think you can properly enjoy yourself if you’re worrying about that stuff the whole day.

What was your biggest “holyamazeballzI’mfreakininlove!” moment?
That’s tough because I’m not really the type of person that thinks that way. But seeing Kim walk down the aisle is probably as close to choking up as I’ve been. Since then, the birth of our three kids and the way she deals with being a mum day-to-day takes the cake.

What were your top 5 favorite things about your wedding?

1. Our unconventional Elvis-impersonator DJ.
2. At the reception we had a projector screen, on which were photos from earlier in the day for everyone to see. That was impromptu, but pretty cool.
3. NOT being burned during the best man speech


4. The dine-in McDonald’s cheeseburger meal 10 minutes before the ceremony started really hit the spot.
5. The bride (not in that order of course!)

Top 5 least favorite?

1. Missing out on the dessert buffet!
2. A couple of little things about the reception didn’t work out how I had planned which annoyed me a bit. I don’t think anyone else noticed though.
3. It went too quickly!

What was the worst piece of wedding advice you received?
That one is easy – “Are you sure you’re old enough/ready?”

The best?
Someone reminded me that our wedding was about us and to try and enjoy ourselves rather than spend the day trying to please everyone else. I still don’t believe them, but it sounds like good advice!

If you’ve been married for more than a few years, what have been some challenges?

For me the biggest challenges have been learning not to be selfish and so stubbornly independent (I’m still learning).
Also, studying full time and having kids is a bitch, but I wouldn’t change it.

What from your wedding vows/ceremony still holds the truest?

“In good times and in bad”

Any other bits of wisdom? not really 😛

Photos: Paul Bui

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Place.

Oh, the Mauna Lani. How addictive you’ve become. Hooked, after just one trip. And now that the cold weather and snow have officially inundated the Hole, it’s time for a little visual trip back.

While the prices were a bit in the upper echelon, I couldn’t be happier about choosing to have our wedding there. Lauren was the first person to respond after I shot out a flurry of emails to hotels on the Big Island. Seriously, I think I emailed 15 places the moment we decided that Hawaii was the place to be.

Lauren emailed me back, got a general idea of what we wanted and immediately began working with me to ensure the best experience. Rather than pay a holy buttload up front, she allowed us to make a feasible deposit and pay down the rest over time. Which worked like a dream.

When the time came, she and Pinkie did everything to make sure we were within our means and had the best effing party at the same time.

And it wasn’t just them. EVERYONE at the Mauna Lani was amazing. From the service when we first arrived, to the helpfulness of everyone ranging from spa coordinators to front desk to bartenders to pool attendants. There was such sincere friendliness and genuine caring.

When they say the staff at the Mauna Lani becomes your ohana, they truly mean it.

Glass elevator. Open-air.

Oh, a few fish ponds? Sure. Why not.

View from the top.

Not bad for a little beach ceremony action.

Nice place to be a fish.

Beachy keen.

I like turtles.

How's the serenity?

Venue: Mauna Lani Bay Hotel & Bungalows
Photos: Persimmon Images

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Over There.

Hey!!! Guess what???

We’re on Offbeat Bride today!!!

I started reading Offbeat Bride pretty early in the engagement process and it quickly became one of my top-three go-to blogs. As in, my morning isn’t complete if I haven’t read it whilst drinking my coffee.

Check it out!

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Said.

For our ceremony, we decided we wanted a simple civil ceremony with certain twists that were just us. I contacted Dard Aller, who was the hotel-recommended officiant, to get his standard ceremony. I asked him if I could tweak it, which he consented to. Originally timed, it came out to 8 minutes. Apparently it lasted a bit longer than that. I have no clue what the final count was.

Greeting

“Piglet sidled up to Pooh from behind. “Pooh,” he whispered.
“Yes, Piglet?”
“Nothing,” said Piglet, taking Pooh’s paw, “I just wanted to be sure of you.”

Marriage is more than the joining in the bonds of matrimony of two persons. In its right relation, it is the uniting of two souls who are already attuned to each other. It is, as Pooh and Piglet point out, being truly sure of one another. When such a true bond already exists between two people, it’s fitting an outer acknowledgment be made. This acknowledgment is the prime object of this gathering and this ceremony.

We are here to bear witness to the entry into the closer relationship these two people… of you two beloved friends who are already close in spirit. Today, exactly three years after you first realized you shared a special bond, you are now taking into your care and keeping the happiness of the one person whom you love best. You are adding to your life not only the affection of each other, but also the companionship and the blessing of a deep trust. You’re agreeing to share strengths, responsibilities and love, and to always be sure of the other.

Leigh and Christen chose the location of Hawaii as a symbolism of compromise. Here they welcome their families and friends who’ve come from half a world apart to join them as they are united in this bond. Both believe compromise is one of many vital building blocks for a strong relationship, as it is the coming together of two entities which may start far apart and must communicate, trust and respect in order to grow together and meet in the middle. It is about equality and fairness, not tugging more one way or the other, but rather ending in a pleasing common ground.

Blessing

I would like to share with you a blessing for your marriage.
May your marriage bring you all the exquisite excitements a marriage should. May life grant you also patience, tolerance and understanding.
May you always need one another… not so much to fill your emptiness as to help you to know your fullness.
May you want one another, but not out of lack.
May you entice one another, but not compel one another.
May you embrace one another, but not encircle one another.
May you succeed in all important ways with one another, and not fail in the little graces.
Look for things to praise, often say, “I love you”, and take no notice of small faults.
May you have happiness and may you find it in making one another happy.
May you have love, and may you find it in loving one another.

Reading of “Litany” by Billy Collins

“You are the bread and the knife,
the crystal goblet and the wine.
You are the dew on the morning grass
and the burning wheel of the sun.
You are the white apron of the baker,
and the marsh birds suddenly in flight.
However, you are not the wind in the orchard,
the plums on the counter,
or the house of cards.
And you are certainly not the pine-scented air.
There is just no way that you are the pine-scented air.
It is possible that you are the fish under the bridge,
maybe even the pigeon on the general’s head,
but you are not even close
to being the field of cornflowers at dusk.
And a quick look in the mirror will show
that you are neither the boots in the corner
nor the boat asleep in its boathouse.
It might interest you to know,
speaking of the plentiful imagery of the world,
that I am the sound of rain on the roof.
I also happen to be the shooting star,
the evening paper blowing down an alley
and the basket of chestnuts on the kitchen table.
I am also the moon in the trees
and the blind woman’s tea cup.
But don’t worry, I’m not the bread and the knife.
You are still the bread and the knife.
You will always be the bread and the knife,
not to mention the crystal goblet and – somehow – the wine.”

In paying tribute to their love for one another,
Christen and Leigh have requested we
Recognize and honor those who are no longer with us in person
But grace us with their presence in spirit

We also honor those
Who are still refused the right to be wed
And are denied the social and legal benefits of marriage
While there have been great strides made
There is more to be done to reach the goal of true equality
And recognize the bond of love between any two people

As you soak in the serenity of the sea before you,
Please take a moment of silence for those we have recognized.

[Moment of silence]

Reading of Excerpt from “Still Life with Woodpecker.”

“Love is the ultimate outlaw. It just won’t adhere to any rules. The most any of us can do is to sign on as its accomplice. Instead of vowing to honor and obey, maybe we should swear to aid and abet. That would mean that security is out of the question. The words “make” and “stay” become inappropriate. My love for you has no strings attached. I love you for free.”

Consent

Leigh, do you give yourself totally to loving Bride, striving to do whatever you can to help her to feel happy and secure, treating her with kindness, understanding and respect for all the days before you?

Christen, do you give yourself totally to loving Groom, striving to do whatever you can to help him to feel happy and secure, treating him with kindness, understanding and respect for all the days before you?

Vows

Christen and Leigh read their own vows.

Leigh and Christen, nothing in life is easier than to say words, but nothing is harder than to actually live those words, day after day. What you decide here today, really needs to be reconfirmed tomorrow and the tomorrow after that, and an endless string of tomorrows after that. At the end of this ceremony in just a few moments, legally you will be husband and wife, but you still must decide every day that stretches before you, that you want to continue to grow in your marriage. Make such a decision and then keep on making it for when all is done at the periphery of life, the two things that matter the most are to love and to be loved.

Wine box:

Officiant says: “I’d like to draw your attention to the box in front Leigh and Christen. They have written letters to each other expressing their feelings as they begin their marriage. We will include these letters in the box along with a bottle of wine. Together we will seal this box, and on the happy occasion of their anniversary, they will open the box, read the letters, drink the wine, and add new letters to the box. As time passes the wine will age, like their relationship. But the box and its contents will represent the past, the present and the possibility of what lies ahead. As they go forth in their ever-evolving bond, they will have a chronicle of where they have been and the anticipation of where they are going. Each time they open the box, they will be in a new time and living new experiences, but they will continually be brought back to the essence of this day and the commitment they are making to each other.
Christen will you commit yourself to this undertaking?”
Me: “yes”
Officiant: “Leigh will you commit yourself to this undertaking?”
Him: “yes”
Officiant: “please seal the box together.”

Rings

May I have the rings, please.
These rings, by their circular shape are a symbol: they’re a symbol of the love that you feel in your hearts and that you give to each other this day, but they’re also a very important symbol of the unending love that will continue to exist in your lives and in your marriage, as evidenced by the phrase “Forever + Ever” which you have had stamped on them. And as you place this ring upon her finger repeat after me:

“Bride, with this ring, I commit myself to love and adore you forever and ever.”
“Groom, with this ring I commit myself to love and adore you forever and ever.”

Your two lives are now joined in one unbroken circle. Where ever you go, may you always return to one another in your togetherness. May you find in each other the love which all persons long for. May you grow in understanding and in compassion. May the home you enjoy together be such a place of sanctuary that many will find there a friend.

Pronunciation
Leigh and Christen, under the authority of the State of Hawaii, and in the name of love forever and ever, I do now pronounce you to be husband and wife.

Kiss
Would you like to seal your vows with a kiss?

Presentation
I now present to you Groom and Bride, husband and wife.

Recessional

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Stags.

From what I hear, it was a wild night. Obviously, what happens (for the most part) on a party bus in Hawaii stays on a party bus in Hawaii. But, since Kat and Justin, respectively, joined us for the hens and stags, it’s only right to showcase their work and highlight just how much fun can be found in Kona when you mix unwitting older Americans, some awesome Aussies and one rockin’ groom. Oh, and a little karaoke.

Three out of the four G-men.

For Gresh, it's all in the moves. For Rob? It's all in the laughs.

Dad and uncles along for the ride? Oh, the horror!

It's been said that a Moynihan singing is a crime against humanity.

But the show must go on.

"Can you feeeeel the love toniiiight ... "

Smooth criminal.

The club can't handle him.

Finish with flourish.

How refreshing! How Heineken!

Refreshing, indeed.

Sing for the laughter. Sing for the tears.

Can't stop rock and roll

Clean up, Aisle 3.

Bus: Koki Entertainment
Karaoke Bar: KBXtreme

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Watch.

Couple Time. They’re about a minute-and-a-half-long shorts that are awkwardly hilarious.

Starring Patrick Carlyle and Allyn Rachel

PS: Doesn’t her name seem a little backward? I like.

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