On Friday of last week our little family was blessed to be a part of @Alivicwil and @TripleJoe‘s wedding. The wedding was held in Sutton Forrest at St Patrick’s Church. I had never been to Sutton Forrest before so I was really looking forward to seeing a new bit of the Australian countryside.
(I don’t care what you say, Australia has some of the most breathtakingly stunning scenery on the planet and I like to see as much of it as I can!)
Sutton Forrest is just over 2 hours from where we live in Canberra so it was a pretty quick and painless journey. Well, all except for the fact that I was packing bricks over having to be the Master of Ceremonies for the event! (Say what?)
You read that right, me, a girl, Master of Ceremonies.
And no, it didn’t come with a crown or a cape or a baton. (I know, I was shocked too!)
We arrived in Sutton Forrest with an hour to go before the wedding. We went to check in at our accommodation (Pepper’s Manor House) and get dressed for the wedding. When we arrived at our accommodation there was a wedding being held there and one of the guests for that wedding happened to share the same name as me. The hotel had given this person our room.
Normally I wouldn’t have been worried about it. However when they asked could I wait 30 minutes while they sorted it out I had to say no. (We had a 7 month old that needed to be feed and a MC who couldn’t do her job in boardies!) I don’t think they were thinking that I’d say no because it kind of sent them into a fluster and still took them 20 minutes to sort out.
Eventually they upgraded our room and gave us a key. It meant that by the time we checked in, lugged our gear across the property to our room, carried our pram up a flight of stairs, feed the Little Man and got dressed we arrived at the Church with 5 minutes to spare.
Not really an issue, except I had the Bride’s “something borrowed”. Luckily she was only a few hundred meters down from the Church so I was able to duck in and drop it off.
Oh em gee. I was totally not prepared to see her. I don’t know what’s happened to me since having a baby; seriously! I cry at the drop of a hat. I used to be able to contain my emotions. I used to be able to watch an episode of Ellen without crying. I used to be able to be a cold hearted wench, now… not so much.
I was planning to drop my something borrowed item at the door and do a runner, but the bridesmaid invited me in and it seemed rude to say no so I went in. @Alivicwil came out to say hello and I teared up – she looked amazing. Stunning. Beautiful. Radiant. All the good words.
We hugged, said a few words and then I left before I ruined her dress with crying snot.
Image source: TheTone on Instagram
The Church was really lovely. I always drive past Churches like this and wonder what they’re like on the inside. They remind me of the buildings out of the settler stories that they told us in school (you know, cause they actually are the same building!). They reflect the hardness of our country, but it’s beauty all at the same time.
We went into the Church and waited for the Bride to arrive. Bloody hell was the inside of that church hot! It was 37.5°C (for those not in the Commonwealth that’s 99.5°F) outside the church and it seemed like double that on the inside!
…just hanging out trying not to melt…
It was seriously hot. While the adults seemed to be struggling with the heat (and goofing off) the Little Man was blissfully unaware of the magnitude of the event and was sound asleep. In fact he was still sound asleep when the Bride made her big entrance.
The little guy was out cold. In fact at one point in the service I was worried that the sound of his snoring would put the Priest off his game.
Only a few minutes after I had him set up on the pew the Priest gave the sign that the Bride had arrived and we were all to be upstanding.
Oh em gee! It was perfect. Like something out of a fairytale.
She was perfectly framed by the doorway to the Church when she entered. The Groom choked upon seeing her enter. I choked up and tried to stifle the first of many sobs.
I’d like to say she glided gracefully down the aisle savoring each step as she made her last walk as a single woman, but I’d be lying. She raced down that aisle! (I suspect it had more to do with her Dad’s nerves than her desire to break a land speed record!)
With the Bride arrived the show got underway. It was a lovely service. I know that it wasn’t exactly as the Bride had hoped (it was a Catholic service and she’s not Catholic) but it was lovely.
(Marriage is all about compromise and this was the compromise they had to make to keep harmony in their families and I think it worked out well.)
I was expecting it to drag, but the Priest was really relaxed and jovial. The readings they had chosen were lovely and being read by their friends and family was a nice touch. (There was a particularly lovely moment when the Bride’s Mother choked up while doing her reading. I couldn’t help it I sobbed with her!)
Before we knew it they were at the vow exchanging and the battery on my phone was about to die. (Who would have though that Instagramming and Tweeting the wedding would have sucked the life from my phone!) There was a really sweet moment when the Groom choked up and kind of squeaked out his vows while trying not to cry. (Again another sob from me!)
With the formalities out of the way they signed the paperwork and then made their way back down the aisle as husband and wife.
..it’s official; they’re married…
It all seemed to go by in the blink of an eye.
With the wedding ceremony completed it was outside for some mingling, photos and then it was my turn to start with my MC responsibilities.
In the lead up to the wedding the Bride and Groom had provided me with a link to the internet resource that they felt best reflected what they would like to happen on the day where their MC was concerned. I had combed that thing looking for inspiration and some clue as to what to do.
The Bride and Groom had also provided a run sheet of how the evening would be organized and so I used this as a place to start when it came to putting together something. Being the efficiently organized person I am I had left this preparation to the night before and so while making Pineapple Relish and Jam I worked on my speech.
The first task I had to do was announce to everyone outside the Church that the Bride and Groom would like everyone to head to the reception venue for pre-reception drinks and finger food. Simple.
…the picture of calm…
I stealed myself and went in. I made the announcement. The ground didn’t open up and swallow me as I was wishing wildly in my head.
With that out of the way, I (with my posse of boys) headed to the reception venue. Because of the heat the Groom had asked that the venue start their drinks service early so guests could cool down. It was my job to talk to the Reception Coordinator about this.
The reception was held at Southern Highland Wines. Again, somewhere else I had never been. In the lead up to the wedding the Bride had gushed about the service at Southern Highland Wines and she hadn’t over exaggerated. When I arrived I introduced myself to Katie (the person in charge) and she made me feel so welcomed and so relaxed. I spoke to her about opening up the bar early and it wasn’t a hassle.
As the guests started to arrive she took me downstairs to the reception room and we ran through the audio set up (OMG I had to use a microphone!) and what the staff would do to help make the night run smoothly. (The key is, keep the liquor flowing. My insight not Katie’s, she said something about keeping the Bride and Groom happy – pffft!)
…the wedding cake…
Image source: Alivicwil on Instagram
Being one of the first into the reception room I had a chance to check out the cake. Stunning. (A word that seemed to be used a lot to describe the day!)
The cake was made by Delaney’s Cakes and it was simply elegant. It had really subtle piping on it that mimicked Sashiko stitching. (Both the Bride and Groom have a strong association with Japan and so there were subtle nods to Japan through out the night.)
I loved that they also had customised cake serving ware and Mr and Mrs cake forks. Such a sweet touch. (The Bride got them through Silverware Creations on Etsy and they were charming.)
Image source: TheTone on Instagram
After I stopped gushing to Katie about the cake I took a noisy at the table settings. (Well, I had to find where I was sitting!) The wedding favours truly reflected the Bride (an origami crane) and the Groom (a test tube filled with mini M&Ms (he’s a science teacher)).
I found our seats, which was handy because they were right near the microphone set up. For a brief moment there I’d forgotten I was MCing!
I did a bit of a practice on the microphone, introduced myself to the band, Ella’s Holiday, made sure the Bride and Groom would have clear access to their table and then went back upstairs to have a calming drink (soda) and try out some of the canapes. (Yum!)
At the allotted time I went looking for Katie to make sure they were ready for me to announce to everyone that it was time to go into the reception room. Slight change of plans; first we needed to have the Bride and Groom (small issue) and second they wanted a group photo before everyone headed into the reception room.
Easy! Ha! With the Bride and Groom no where in sight (they were still off in the wilds taking pictures) I went back to chat to the Bride’s Mother and stuff some more canapes into my trap.
When the Bride and Groom arrived Katie and I cleared the proposed location for the group shot with the photographer. He was cool with it and so we went around and asked everyone to make their way into the Courtyard.
With the Bride and Groom in place the photographer (Chris from Red Berry Photography) took the group shot and I then asked everyone to proceed inside so we could start the reception.
It’s at about this point that the nerves really kicked in. I kept repeating the words “grace” and “dignity” in my head while praying that I didn’t drop the F word or mention anything about sex toys (long story best saved for my deathbed!).
I had my speech written out, however it was sitting printed and on my desk at home. I did however have a copy of it on my iPhone. Just a shame the font size on my iPhone was smaller than the mini M&Ms in my test tube!)
Lucky for me I had (inflicted) practiced my speech in the car on the way down and so I pretty much knew what I was going to say.
Here’s what I had planned to say:
I would like to take this opportunity, on behalf of @TripleJoe and@Alivicwil, to thank you all for being here to celebrate with them the beginning of this chapter of their lives together. I know it means a lot to both of them.
For those of you wondering how I came to get the gig of MC tonight it boils down to this: I’m the whole reason you’re here.
You see, I hold the great honour of being the one that brought Joe and Alisa together, as it was I who suggested that @Alivicwil come with my Husband and I to see the Hilltop Hoods perform at the Australian National University.
Had she not agreed to my brilliant plan she would never of had to put a call out on the internet (yes, they met on the INTERNET!) for someone to take her spare ticket, @TripleJoe would never have answered that call, they would never have shared a sweaty night of jumping up and down in a mosh pit together falling in love and we’d all be at home this Friday night watching Packed to the Rafters reruns, checking Twitter and eating TimTams.
So let’s get down to business. I would like to take this opportunity to go through some of the information that will help make your night a good one.
The toilets are located behind me. The exits are located here, here and here – in the event of an emergency the bar is located upstairs.
The venue is non-smoking, however there is a smoking section located in the courtyard.
For those of you looking for a souvenir of the evening the flowers from the table settings are available to guests at the end of the night. The Bride just asks that you please leave the vases behind as they hold sentimental value.
For those of you, like me, addicted to social media the official hashtag of the event is #ajhitched2013.
Anyone that has an iPhone or Android, and statistically there’s 2 of you here, the Bride and Groom have asked that you download the application “Wedding Snap” (it’s the one with the cartoon character bride and groom on the icon) – it’s free and if you sign in with the event name all photos you take will be collated into an album for the Bride and Groom to enjoy for years to come. We just ask that you resist the urge at the end of the night to take photos of your body parts.
Tonight’s festivities will commence with the arrival of the Bridal Party, once they have arrived I will ask Scahiko to give Itadakimasu – which is a Japanese blessing of the meal.
The entrée and main meals will then be served.
With the main portion of the meals completed it will then be time for the speeches. After we have heard from the Bridal Party and their loved ones it will be time to cut the cake and a perfect opportunity for everyone to test out that wedding app and get some photos of the Bride and Groom.
Once the cake has been cut the Bride and Groom will strut their stuff for the bridal dance. The Bridal Party will then be asked to join them and once they’ve warmed up the dance floor all guests will be invited to join in.
Dessert will then be served and the band, Ella’s Holiday, will keep you dancing the night away (and working off the calories from the two serves of cake I’ll be having!).
So that’s the adventure that awaits you, the Bridal Party should be arriving shortly, until then please make yourselves comfortable.
When I stood up, took the microphone and got everyone’s attention I also managed to tap my iPhone’s screen and the document I had my notes in disappeared.
And this is where I wing it. I managed to get out two thirds of what I had planned, but it didn’t go as smoothly as I would have liked. But no one would know what I had planned except me, the boys in my posse (I had read them the script in the car on the journey down) and the Bride and Groom (I’d sent them the script for approval).
I sat down, briefly. I then got up and went to confirm with the Bridal Party that they were ready to enter. They were so I was back on.
Now, here’s the kicker. When I wrote the script I didn’t think this part would be a problem (apart from pronouncing Scahiko’s name), however in the car ride I’d learned a valuable lesson; I couldn’t say Mr and Mrs @TripleJoe without choking up. I was stunned. I’m not the crying girl. Seriously, I’m not. At least I wasn’t pre-baby. Damn hormonal changes!
So I stealed myself and went back into the room to make the announcements. I made it all the way up to announcing the Bride and Groom…
Would you please be upstanding and join me in welcoming for the first time…
and then it happened… I choked! I was moments away from blowing a huge snot bubble out of my nose in front of a room full of strangers. I gave myself a shake and squeaked out..
…as Husband and Wife Mr and Mrs @TripleJoe.
The crowd went wild when they walked in – it was so lovely and even now a couple of days after the even I still get a little choked up thinking about it.
Here it was the culmination of 3.5 years of dating. I knew how much they meant to each other and I knew how much @Alivicwil wanted the day to go off without a hitch, and they just looked so happy and BAM! waterworks.
With the Bridal Party seated it was then my job to announce the Japanese blessing. No matter how much I practiced under the pressure I couldn’t say Itadakimasu. I felt bad that I couldn’t.
(I hate it when I can’t pronounce someone’s name or something important – I always feel like it’s an insult to the person and I hate it. I think correct pronunciation might be the super power I ask for if ever I meet a Genie.)
With the blessing completed the meals were served. The food was really yummy and the service was great. My glass was always full (of soda) and the staff were really polite and friendly.
The Little Man slept through the whole thing – I kid you not! The kid could sleep for the Olympics (gets that from his mother!).
Once the meals were done and cleared away it was time for the speeches. The Bride’s Father gave a really lovely speech and it was clear that he was proud of her (he said it 3 times in the speech alone) and I liked that he said that he wasn’t giving her away he was “lending her” to @TripleJoe.
The Father of the Groom made a lovely speech as well and it’s clear that he loves his son. It was great to get a bit of glimpse into their childhoods through the speeches.
The Groom then gave his speech. (Which was funny because he’d managed to lose the middle page of it earlier in the day so he’d been furiously scribbling notes during dinner service!) It was all the things a good speech should be. He choked up when talking about his new wife, it was moving, it was funny and it just showed how awesome a guy he is.
The Best Man then made his speech which was funny, but not gaudy like some Best Man speeches can be. The Groomsman and Maid of Honor then read out a couple of emails (cause Telegrams are so last century!). One of the emails was from a student that both the Bride and Groom had taught and it was really sweet and just went to show how loved they are.
With the speeches completed it was time to cut the cake, which seemed a shame really given how lovely it was. But heck, I wasn’t going to turn down cake! (There was no cake smashing either!)
(And it was great cake! It was moist and lush and there were 3 flavors on offer. I had red velvet and it was divine! Plus it reminded me of Steal Magnolias – bleeding armadillo cake!)
…red velvet cake…
Speeches and cake cutting over it was time to get down; the Bridal Waltz. All I had to do was announce it…
It’s now time for the Bride and Groom to enjoy their first dance together as Husband and Wife.
@TripleJoe and @Alivicwil, as any married couple will tell you; the bridal song will end tonight but in marriage you never stop dancing. The key to a successful marriage is to ensure you’re always in time together, heading in the same direction and apologize when you stand on each others toes.
Would you both please make your way to the dance floor.
It was the only thing of the night actually read from my notes because I knew if I made eye contact with them I would cry.
I can’t tell you what they danced to other than it was a Beatle’s song. While they danced I took the opportunity to kick my shoes off. By this time it was 10:30pm and I was knackered.
I was supposed to stick around to do the farewell circle, last drinks and close up, but I was shattered. So as we ate cake and people danced we talked about heading back to the hotel.
I had spoken to @Alivicwil earlier in the week about leaving before closing and I just checked in with her again to make sure it was ok to do so. She was cool with it, but because of the time I decided (in conjunction with the Bride and Groom) to give a closing speech (reminding everyone of the post wedding lunch the next day, not to drink and drive and thanking the band and Southern Highland Wines.)
With that done we beat a retreat to the hotel.
It was a massive day. Massive. It was really beautiful and went off without a hitch. I’m so glad I was able to help in some small way. The lovely couple are currently vacationing in Vanuatu. (Not Yemen.) I can’t wait to catch up with them when they return to hear about their memories of the day. I do so love me a good wedding.
…the happy couple…
Image source: Annikakatariina on Instagram