Takin’ Love by the Horns: Champers, Cubes, and Camera Snaps

14 Oct

Our bridal party and bridal couple photographs were spread out over two locations: the Hunter Valley Gardens and the Crowne Plaza Hunter Valley Resort. I don’t want to mix things up (since something else happened between these two locations) so I’m going to do it ‘in order’ so as not to muddle up the goings-on of the day.

Once the ceremonies were over, and all the guests had dispersed, the bridal party, photographers, and videographers settled into the Oriental Pagoda for lunch, champers, and this:

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Yes guys, GM Xboy blew up our inflatable companion cube (of the game Portal). He did it all by himself. We were actually very impressed.

Lunch consisted of sandwiches, alcohol, soda, and water. But mostly, our photographers kept Mr Big and I classy:

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My bridesmaids also touched me up a little:

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Aren’t they wonderful?

After that was all said and done, we decided we’d best spend the two hours of photography that came with the ceremonies and take overly romantic photos.

So we did (not really):

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To be honest guys, most of our romantic photos came after the bridal party photos. And our bridal party photos were awesome:

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Words cannot describe how much I LOVE this photo.

I took a picture with each of the girls:

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Mrs Big + MoH M&Ms

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Mrs Big + BM Proper

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Mrs Big + BM Superhero

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Mrs Big + BM Cupcake

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Mrs Big + Groom’s Homie Oddball (my little sister, 10 years my junior if you can believe it)

And Mr Big took a picture with each of his guys:

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Mr Big + BMan Hunter

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Mr Big + GM Xboy

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Mr Big + GM The Flash

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Mr Big + GM NB

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“I may be an a-hole, but I’m not 100% a dick.” = Mr Big’s response to ‘Why are you being a dick to GM Iron in this photo?’

After our bridal party photos, it was then time for the bridal party to go away and leave Mr Big and I to make out take lovely bridal couple photos. And if you’re wondering guys, yes, that waterfall in the background of these photos is the one we had just previously been pronounced as husband and wife. Isn’t it lovely?

Next up, Mr Big + Mrs Big = PDA.

[All photos by the fabulous Studio Something Photography.]

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Takin’ Love by the Horns: PHOTOBOMB!

10 Oct

Firstly, let me just say that I never meant to get so far behind (I know, none of the Bees ever do). Life has thrown about a million things our way since our return from the honeymoon, including a new job in a new city, a potential promotion for Mr Big, a new car, and several very upsetting occurrences, and all of these things have made me realise that being married to Mr Big is a treasure that I, thankfully and luckily, get to enjoy every day. Now before this becomes sappy (wait, it isn’t already?), let me just continue with these recaps. Almost done guys!

 

Once the servings were done, Mr Big and I were overladen with gifts, from red envelopes filled with money to jewellery.

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Showing off MA BLINGZ to MA MAN. (Ok, I’ll never do that again, promise.)

Showing off MA BLINGZ to MA MAN. (Ok, I’ll never do that again, promise.)

Red envelopes in Mr Big’s pocket. Also DAT ASS.

Red envelopes in Mr Big’s pocket. Also DAT ASS. ❤

My Uncle Chung performed a “good luck ritual”, where you grab the red envelopes in a bunch and then wipe them down on the groom, passing on good luck, fortune and all that good stuff. This wasn’t captured on camera, but we got the resultant laughing aftermath.

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It was then time for group photos, and unfortunately, a lot of them were photobombed. So a word of warning to you guys – pick a place that isn’t so contained, and ask people to move. Or else you get the following photos:

Our celebrant J and her husband G.

Our celebrant J and her husband G.

Mumma Big’s family, from L to R: Mumma Big, De Papa Big, and Uncle Ado.

Mumma Big’s family, from L to R: Mumma Big, De Papa Big, and Uncle Ado.

Mama Bighorn’s side of the family. Basically the only decent group photo!

Mama Bighorn’s side of the family. Basically the only decent group photo!

Papa Bighorn’s side of the family. There’s too much to name. Also notice the sitting man – he was in a lot of the photobombs.

Papa Bighorn’s side of the family. There’s too much to name.

My angst about the group photos went on for about a week or so, but in the end, there was literally nothing I could do. I didn’t know it was happening, and our photographers – who were lovely – weren’t really used to typical “formal” photos. And so, our formal photos weren’t exactly perfect. But every other photo we had during that time was.

And for some reason, there were lots of me:

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There’s also these two gems:

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Who else had their photos photobombed?

Next up, we eat lunch and take lots and lots and lots (etc.) of photos!

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Takin’ Love by the Horns: The Chinese Tea Ceremony

24 Jul

[Just a word of warning guys – if you don’t like ‘family’ posts, there’s a lot of that at the tail-end of this post. So you may want to skip over that bit if you’re not interested.]

After the ceremony, everyone was up and milling about, either casually chatting away to each other or trying to catch a glimpse of the rare bride-and-groom-emon*.

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Aunt Artemis (L) & Uncle Ado (R).

At some point, my photographers managed to catch all my girls doing this (or staged it? I don’t know).

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I’m not too sure when this happened, but I know I love it. I love it lots.

The photographers also managed to get this whopper of a photo. I don’t know how they did it. They just did.

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Yes, that is every.single.guest that was at our ceremony.

My friends also managed to wrangle Mr Big and I for a group shot.

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Don’t you love our synchronised head-cocking? / Photo by Friend Sahara.

After this though, we had to hurry down to the Oriental Pagoda. So in the golf cart we went! We arrived not long after and I literally remember gasping in awe. The groomsmen and DoC Auto had done a fantastic job with the whole thing. Unfortunately, guys, I can’t really show you an empty picture of it (cause there isn’t one, poop), so instead, I give you this:

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Once we got underway, I requested MoH M&MS and GM Iron to get everyone in order. I would’ve done it myself, but I had a long train and well… it’s hard to walk around and be bossy when you’re constantly having to literally flip to turn yourself around (it’s also hilarious).

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Is it bad that I absolutely love this picture? From L to R: Mumma Big, De Papa Big, Mama Bighorn and Papa Bighorn.

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Half of my Indonesian family! Uncle Phung, Auntie Pin, Auntie Men, and Uncle Chung.

Unfortunately, at this point, a few members that were supposed to get served tea were running late, so we had to wait around for a little bit. Our photographers managed to get some really good shots during this time:

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After a little bit, however, we decided that it was time to start, missing party or no. I was originally going to introduce the concept of the Chinese Tea Ceremony to the audience, but decided GM Iron – who had performed one at his own wedding – would do a better job. After a brief introduction, it was up to MoH M&Ms to announce who would be coming up to the two chairs set out in the middle of the Pagoda.

We invited my parents up first:

We give them the tea…

We give them the tea…

…They receive it.

…They receive it.

They drink…

They drink…

…we watch (in a totally not creepy way, I swear)…

…we watch (in a totally not creepy way, I swear)…

… and then we take the tea cups back with a bow.

… and then we take the tea cups back with a bow.

At this point, my parents would then gift us. Remember guys, jewellery is immediately placed on the bride and groom, and my parents gave us a beautiful gift which merged New Zealand jade with Indonesian gold. Absolutely stunning guys!

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Mr Big is too tall!

Mr Big is too tall!

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It was a bit of a struggle to get through my parents’ serving, simply because there were things we encountered that my parents, myself, or Mr Big hadn’t counted on. For example, Mr Big had to get his glasses off to get the necklace on.

Meanwhile, Papa Big was struggling to get the necklace on over my gigantic hairdo so he had to unclasp it. But no matter crisis solved!

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It should be noted that there were a whole lot of people working behind the scenes to ensure that the Tea Ceremony went smoothly, namely my fabulous bridesmaids and Lady Luck, our ‘good luck lady’. GM The Flash and GM NB were also doing an awesome job keeping my girls out of the sun.

GM The Flash – ever the gentlemen.

GM The Flash – ever the gentlemen.

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See that lovely lady in grey, holding the tray (Cat, bat, sat, hat)? She was our “Good Luck Lady” and also GM Xboy’s lovely wife. She was responsible of handing the tea to us and then taking it away. Isn’t she awesome?

Meanwhile, after my parents, it was Mr Big’s parents’ turn, which flowed a lot smoother now that we had one serving under our belt!

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After the Bighorn parents were done, it was smooth sailing from there:

My Uncle B, the oldest of my uncles and brother of Papa Bighorn, and Aunt D.

My Uncle B, the oldest of my uncles and brother of Papa Bighorn, and Aunt D.

My Aunt C and Uncle L, second oldest uncle and brother of Papa Bighorn.

My Aunt C and Uncle L, second oldest uncle and brother of Papa Bighorn.

My Uncle D, cousin of Papa Bighorn and next oldest uncle.

My Uncle D, cousin of Papa Bighorn and next oldest uncle.

Uncle Chong (L) and Aunt Men (R) being served, oldest aunt and sister of Mama Bighorn. Also my godmother, hence the next photo!

Uncle Chong (L) and Aunt Men (R) being served, oldest aunt and sister of Mama Bighorn. Also my godmother, hence the next photo!

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Serving Uncle Phung and Aunt Pen, second oldest aunt and sister of Mama Bighorn.

Serving Uncle Phung and Aunt Pen, second oldest aunt and sister of Mama Bighorn.

Aunt Lee, youngest aunt and sister of Mama Bighorn. Her husband couldn’t attend the wedding.

Aunt Lee, youngest aunt and sister of Mama Bighorn. Her husband couldn’t attend the wedding.

Serving both Uncle Ado (not shown) and Aunt Artemis (shown). Uncle Ado is the older brother of Mumma Big and Aunt Artermis is the youngest sister of De Papa Big, but we combined the two for ease (and time’s) sake.

Serving both Uncle Ado (not shown) and Aunt Artemis (shown). Uncle Ado is the older brother of Mumma Big and Aunt Artermis is the youngest sister of De Papa Big, but we combined the two for ease (and time’s) sake.

With all the elders served, it was time for more photos!

Next up, our group photos are constantly photobombed.

* To those who don’t get the reference – Pokemon. ‘Nuff said.

[All photos by Studio Something unless otherwise stated.]

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Takin’ Love by the Horns: We’re On Top of the World!

22 Jul

[I apologise for being absent guys! Mr Big and I just celebrated out halfiversary, and it’s been pretty hectic here! But I will get back to regularly posting.]

We exchanged rings, kissed, and generally loved up, but our ceremony wasn’t finished! As Mr Big and I looked at each other gleefully, Celebrant J signalled for the music to start, indicating the signing of the marriage documents.

I would now like to invite our witnesses, [BMan Hunter] and [MoH M&Ms], to join with us in signing the official marriage documents. Once these documents have been signed, Grant and Eileen will come back before you, where I will present them with their Certificate of Marriage, and officially introduce them to you.

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Don’t worry folks, our guests (and wedding party) were chatting away while we did the all-important signing!

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In the meantime, Mr Big and I were enjoying our newlywed status.

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After that was all done, we took our places once more and Celebrant J continued:

Grant and Eileen, it gives me great pleasure to officially present to you, before your family and friends, your Certificate of Marriage. I would like to take this opportunity to thank you for allowing me to be part of your special day.

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Family and friends, Grant and Eileen are now joined together as Husband and Wife and so you, their families and friends, are also united through them. Their lives will be strengthened and enriched by the love and support you continue to give them.

Grant and Eileen, today you came here as individuals; now you leave as Husband and Wife. A new bond has been created and a new journey has just begun.

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Continue to enjoy the happiness that a loving marriage brings and always keep sight of what has brought you here today; your love and respect for one another. Take the time to rediscover your love and friendship every day and rest securely in this love. May your family and friends be nurtured and enriched by your love for one another.

On behalf of everyone present, I wish you a fulfilling life ahead. Take care of each other along the way and be wonderfully happy!

Family and friends, I ask you now to join with me as we welcome for the very first time,

[Mr & Mrs Bighorn Sheep]!

Congratulations to you both!

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After a quick smooch…

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The recessional was under way!

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Ending with pure goodness: HIGH FIVES!

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And just like that, we were married! Then there was a reception, we partied, the end.

Just kidding! Next up, we pour tea and bow to our elders at the Chinese tea ceremony.

[All photos by the fantastic Studio Something.]

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Takin’ Love by the Horns: I ‘Wool’ Always Love You, Part I – Some Wine Please

9 Jul

It was time guys. Mr Big and I were standing literally inches from each other, unable to take each other’s eyes off the other. Meanwhile, Celebrant J, commenced the ceremony.

The ceremony was written in collaboration with Celebrant J. We took our favourite pieces, mixed, matched, added, and subtracted until we got to something uniquely us. I’ll talk more about it in my vendor reviews, but in short, everyone loved our ceremony.

For the sake of clarity and to keep the sincerity of the ceremony, I kept our first names as is:

It is my very great pleasure to welcome you to this most joyous occasion, Grant and Eileen’s wedding day. They are delighted that you all have been able to join them in this expression of their love for one another, especially those of you who have travelled great distances to be with them today.

Grant and Eileen are ecstatic that their experiences have brought them to the place where they are ready to fulfil what is theirs to accomplish in this life, to join the forces of their individual spirits, capabilities, and backgrounds.

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For Grant and Eileen, marriage means never being too old to hold hands, remembering to say ‘I love you’ at least once a day, and never going to sleep angry. It is at no time, taking the other for granted. It is standing together, facing the world. It is doing things for each other, speaking words of appreciation and demonstrating gratitude in thoughtful ways, and giving each other an atmosphere in which each can grow. It is not only marrying the right partner, but being the right partner.

The commitment they make today is made understanding each other’s weaknesses and accepting them, and knowing each other’s strengths and encouraging them.

And this is as love should be. However, love is not meant to be the possession of two people alone. Rather it is the source of a collective energy, an energy that gives you the strength to live your lives with joy and courage.

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For Grant and Eileen, marriage represents a solemn lifelong commitment to each other. It is walking this life together and helping each other through the ups and downs. It’s being the shoulder to cry on, the crutch to lean on, the enthusiastic ‘high-fiver’, the comforting hugger, and the encouraging presence. It is all about being a best friend, confidant, lover and the best partner each could ever want. They feel their relationship is still securely established in that blissful ‘honeymoon phase’, even though they’ve been together for a little more than three years. Something they hope continues for a long time to come!

Taking the vows of marriage in front of the many people they care about makes today so much more important. Not only are Grant and Eileen uniting, so too are both their families with Eileen joining Grant’s family as a [Mr Big’s Last Name] and Grant becoming a [Miss Big’s Last Name].

The journey that sees Grant and Eileen standing before us today began in 2010 when they met over the internet. After exchanging messages, they chatted regularly for weeks on end. Through their little talks, they got to know each other, paving the way for Grant to request meeting in person.

Upon seeing Eileen for the first time, Grant’s first thought? ‘She’s so little!’ (This got a few laughs!)

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That first date they had lunch, got to know each other a little more, and then watched their first movie together, the “very romantic” Christopher Nolan movie – ‘Inception’. To this day, Eileen still has the ticket stub to that movie – framed and proudly on display!

That first date they had lunch, got to know each other a little more, and then watched their first movie together, the “very romantic” Christopher Nolan movie – ‘Inception’. To this day, Eileen still has the ticket stub to that movie – framed and proudly on display!

Before long, they were seeing each other weekly. Eileen found happiness in their talks but also in the moments of quiet. And she found comfort not only in Grant’s touch and kisses, but by simply being with him. In his presence, she knew she could spend the rest of her life loving this man.

Grant knew he wanted to take their relationship to the next level when Eileen asked him to join her and her family on a trip to Indonesia and China. The fact that he was unofficially a part of the family made him realise he wanted to make it official.

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For Grant, that ‘magical moment’ – the proposal – in the magnificent Milford Sound, New Zealand, had been in the pipeline for weeks! This was despite their in-joke that Grant would only propose while intoxicated and would do so with a bronze pipe washer purchased from Bunnings to save money. So when Grant ‘casually’ proposed underneath ‘Sterling Falls’, Eileen was caught off-guard!

Her response, ‘Are you serious?’ had him thinking that perhaps he hadn’t been as traditional as some would expect… so down on one knee he went and asked again! Ironically, he had bought a washer for the proposal and incidentally left it at the hotel 2 hours away. Smiles all around, the momentous event filmed, and post-proposal group-hugs all added to that special day which in fact was Eileen’s 24th birthday – a day that Grant had promised to treat her to ‘something special’.

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Over time spent together, Grant and Eileen have become the best of friends. With their complementing personalities and unique and quirky sense of humour, they’ve lived life and loved the only way they know how: fun-filled and with enthusiasm!

They’ve settled into that ‘special place’ that everyone dreams of: love, contentment, and growing in understanding of each other. As a team, they are looking forward to supporting each other achieve personal goals, while pursuing their own individual dreams.

Everything that Grant has wanted in a life partner; Eileen fills that role. In his own words, ‘she’s affectionate, smart, funny, accepting, and somehow is not only the greatest friend I could want, but the best, most caring supportive partner I could hope for. I think it’s great that neither of us runs the life of the other, and that – having so much in common – we both have a lot of the same hobbies and interests.’

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Grant and Eileen value their time together. They act, not just as lovers and partners, but as best friends, sharing in-jokes and being able to lovingly poke fun at each other. Grant especially loves that they are both capable gamers and even when pitted against each other, he can still be proud of Eileen when she kicks butt!

Grant’s love for Eileen is unfathomable. She loves his intelligence, his deep breadth of knowledge and most of all, his very willing and generous heart.

With Grant, Eileen knows that she can be herself. She’s not afraid to show her weaknesses – and Grant has the ability to play to her strengths. His presence makes even the direst of situations that much less so. In her own words, ‘he’s a constant in a life full of inconstant.’

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As big dreamers, Grant and Eileen’s hopes and dreams for the future are already formulating. They want to travel the world and experience all life could offer; to celebrate every moment and tackle every problem side-by-side. Most importantly, they want to keep getting closer, the way they have since day one.

Grant and Eileen haven’t been happier. Their laughter is never far from their eyes and their love and respect for each other can be seen and heard in their words to one another.

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At this time, Grant and Eileen would like to take a moment to acknowledge the family and friends who were not able to make it here to share in this wonderful occasion, but who hold a special place in the hearts of those here. Specifically, the happy couple would like to recognise their families in New Zealand and Indonesia, who send their love and blessings for this union.

In recognising family, Grant and Eileen would also like to take a moment to acknowledge the relationship they share with their parents, [Mr Big’s Papa] and [Mr Big’s Momma], and [Miss Big’s Papa] and [Miss Big’s Momma].

At this point, Mr Big’s and my parents were called forward by Celebrant J:

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One of the closest relationships in life is that between caring parents and their children. This connection continues to grow and change as these children grow into independent and mature adults. As parents, the love that each of you has shared within your own marriages has been a legacy conferred to Grant and Eileen.

For them, marriage seems natural and you have offered them quiet yet inspiring examples of how it can be. You have encouraged them to live their own dreams and offered them support that has been greatly appreciated.

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Today, Grant and Eileen would like to take the time to honour this relationship. Grant’s parents, [Mr Big’s Papa] and [Mr Big’s Momma], and Eileen’s parents, [Miss Big’s Papa] and [Miss Big’s Momma], represent their families and all of us when I ask them:

‘Do you give Grant and Eileen your blessings, and pledge them your love, support and acceptance of this marriage?’

The Bighorn Parents: ‘We do.’

At this point, Papa Bighorn was supposed to grab my hand and place it into Mr Big’s hand, but because this isn’t a customary thing to do in Chinese culture, we had a hugging session instead, which later turned to a BIG GROUP HUG with all the parents:

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As I repositioned myself to stand in front of Mr Big, Celebrant J then read out the ‘monitum’, a legally binding statement that is compulsory in all marriage ceremonies in Australia:

Family and friends, my name is Jennifer, and as a Civil Marriage Celebrant, I am duly authorized to solemnize this marriage according to Law in Australia. Grant and Eileen, before you are joined together in marriage in my presence and in the presence of these witnesses, I am to remind you of the solemn, the serious, and the binding nature of the relationship into which you are now about to enter. Marriage, according to Law in Australia, is the union of a man and a woman to the exclusion of all others, voluntarily entered into for life.

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Celebrant J then continued on with the ceremony, asking MoH M&Ms to hold my bouquet as I grabbed Mr Big’s hands in mine:

The hand which you each offer to the other today is an extension of yourselves, just like the warmth and love which you express to each other. Cherish this touch, be sensitive to its pulse, and try to understand and respect its flow and rhythm, just as you do your own.

Grant, I now ask you before all those present, do you take Eileen to be your lawful wife, to share your life with her, and pledge that you will love and honour her, with tenderness and affection, forevermore?

Grant: ‘I do’.

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Eileen, I now ask you before all those present, do you take Grant to be your lawful husband, to share your life with him, and pledge that you will love and honour him, with tenderness and affection, forevermore?

Eileen: ‘I do.’

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After we said our “I dos”, we moved on to the wine ceremony, a ceremony Mr Big and I wanted to incorporate for two reasons: (1) we’re in the Hunter Valley, the wine country of New South Wales, and (2) wine has a special place in our relationship. We split the wine ceremony into two portions: a wine ceremony ritual where we would drink and toast some wine; and a wine box ceremony, which unfortunately we didn’t get still photos of (but heaps on video and our stop-motion).

Today, Grant and Eileen have chosen to celebrate their union through the symbolism of wine. Wine has been called the symbol of life. It is like the blood flowing within our bodies.

The glass of wine symbolises the sum of your life experiences. It contains within it sweet flavours symbolic of happiness, joy, hope and love. This same wine also holds some bitter properties that symbolise sorrow, grief, and life’s trials and tribulations. Together, the sweet and the bitter essences represent life’s journey and all the experiences that are a natural part of it.

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As you drink from this cup, you accept the commitment to draw from your marriage all that you need to wash away the bitter flavours and savour the sweet.

Drink now, and may the cup of your lives be sweet and full.

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By sharing this glass, the two become one and the parts become whole; two paths intertwined, each separate, yet united in love. May all the sweetness that it holds for you be ever the sweeter because you taste it together, and may you find life’s joys heightened and its bitterness sweetened.

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At this time I’d like to draw your attention to the box beside Grant and Eileen.

They have written letters to each other expressing their feelings as they begin their marriage. In these letters, they have detailed why they fell in love and what they truly admire about the other person. The letters are sealed in individual envelopes and they have not seen what the other has written.

These letters have already been placed inside the box with a bottle of wine. Together they will seal the box, and on the happy occasion of their 5th year wedding anniversary, they will open the box, drink the wine together, and read each other’s letters.

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Unfortunately there aren’t any pictures of the actual wine box ceremony, but this photo shows you how the ceremony was laid out.

Grant and Eileen, by reading these love letters, you will be given an opportunity to reflect upon the reasons that you fell in love with each other.

I now ask you to place the letters in the box and seal it shut.

Next up, the vows and the big kiss! (OOOOooooooOOOOOO!!). Stay tuned guys!

[All photos by Studio Something.]

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Takin’ Love by the Horns: I Wool Always Love You, Part II – A Big Smooch

2 Jul

Once we had sealed our letters in the box, we went back to our positions at the front, once more holding hands. I could tell Mr Big was getting nervous – I know I was! It was time to exchange our vows.

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As an aside, when Mr Big and I got to thinking about our vows, we both agreed we wanted to write them ourselves. Not being a wordsmith, Mr Big was a little nervous about writing his vows. So when he was the first person to say them, he was feeling the pressure! I think he did pretty well though. Celebrant J also suggested we read our own vows to each other without repeating after her, which meant she was holding up our vows as we read.

Celebrant J:

We now arrive at a special moment, the moment where you try to bundle all of your experiences and emotions into words. The symbolic vows you’re about to make are a way of saying to one another that you both believe in all the things you promised, hoped and dreamed for one another. It is not just a proclamation of your love to one another, but a reflection of your relationship with each other.

Grant, will you now pledge your vows you’ve written for Eileen with the following:

“I call upon the persons here present
To witness that I Grant
Take you Eileen
To be my lawful wedded Wife.”

Mr Big:

I promise to put you first in everything I do,
To be the excited high-five when you’re happy, and the comforting arms when you feel sad.

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To truly listen when you need to talk, and to give good advice when you need to listen.
To be your superhero when you’re afraid, and to bare my soul when you see I hurt.

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To be yours and you mine from here til’ the end of the verse.
Eileen, I love you.

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After Mr Big said his vows, Celebrant J turned to me.

Guys – I thought I’d cry going down the aisle, and when I didn’t, I was pretty confident I’d be ok with my vows. The moment Mr Big said his though; I felt the tears start to build. So when it was my turn, I had to stop, breathe deeply, and then continue lest I start bawling.

Celebrant J:
Eileen, will you please respond with the vows you’ve written for Grant with the following:

“I call upon the persons here present
To witness that I Eileen
Take you Grant
To be my lawful wedded Husband.”

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Miss Big:

Grant, I don’t like clichés.
I like to think that I’m more imaginative than that, but when I think about you, all I can think about is the clichéd, typical semblance of romance – of a girl who loves a boy so much that everything is just so cliché.

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So when I say that you are my rock, you are the man of my dreams, the thing I look forward to in the morning and one of the last thoughts I have at night, I am telling the whole clichéd truth. Like one great spy said to another, you are a gift, a gift that I will treasure forever.

You are my sanctuary, my happily ever after, and my above and beyond. I know that with you I’ll always be truly happy. With you I can be exactly who I am with no judgement and no reservations. 

See that face? That’s the “don’t you dare cry while you’re saying your vows” face.

See that face? That’s the “don’t you dare cry while you’re saying your vows” face.

You make me a better person and I will strive with all of my heart, my mind, and every fibre of my being to be the best partner, lover, friend, and wife that I can be. There are no promises I can make that will ever encompass the love I have for you, so I’ll make it brief. I promise to laugh with you in the good times and stand with you in the bad.

I promise to stand by your side as we walk through life together, hand-in-hand.

But most of all, I promise to love you fiercely and proudly forevermore.

I'm pretty sure he almost cried too.

I’m pretty sure he almost cried too.

At this point, Mr Big went in for a kiss. It was unexpected, and caught most people off-guard (including our photographers, there’s no picture of it, haha!). At that point Mr Big stated: “Got an early one in”. This managed to make just about everyone – including the both of us – laugh.

With the mood lightened, Celebrant J continued on with the ceremony, asking BMan Hunter for the rings:

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Grant and Eileen, marriage is a state in which two people come together and create a union that is greater than the mere sum of two individuals. It is difficult to express in words the profound relationship that is love. These rings are a symbol of your love and regard to one another. From time immemorial, the circle has been an emblem of the sincerity and permanence of a couple’s love and regard for one another and their union. The ring is the symbol of the commitment which binds these two people together.

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The act of giving and receiving of rings reminds us that love itself is an act of giving and receiving. These golden circles are the natural symbols of enduring love. They represent an inward belief and trust in togetherness and an outward sign of love and commitment.

Grant, as you place this ring as a visible sign of your commitment in marriage on Eileen’s finger, please repeat:

‘Eileen, I promise to love, respect, and honour you.
I will always be there for you, with you, and beside you.
Let this ring be a symbol of our love, may it represent our today, our tomorrows, our future and our past.
As this ring has no end, neither shall my love for you.
As I have given you my hands to hold, so I give you my life to keep.’

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Eileen, as you place this ring as a visible sign of your commitment in marriage on Grant’s finger, please repeat:

‘Grant, I promise to love, respect, and honour you.
I will always be there for you, with you, and beside you.
Let this ring be a symbol of our love, may it represent our today, our tomorrows, our future and our past.
As this ring has no end, neither shall my love for you.
As I have given you my hands to hold, so I give you my life to keep.’

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As I slipped the ring on Mr Big’s finger, I could see the look of excitement on his face as Celebrant J began the next section of the ceremony: 

Grant and Eileen, marriage is the joining of two people, the union of two hearts. It lives on in the love you have for each other and never grows old, but thrives in the joy of each new day. 

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Today, before your family and friends, you have openly declared your love for each other. You have joined your hands, pledged your vows, and exchanged rings. You have not only made a commitment to each other, but to yourselves, to face life’s journey together. And so it is with great joy that I now declare you Husband and Wife.

Congratulations, and best wishes from all of your family and friends here today!

Grant, you may now kiss your bride!

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And he did!

We’re not done yet guys!

[All photos by the fantastic Studio Something.]

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Takin’ Love by the Horns: Sending All My Love To You

2 Jul

In my last post I showed you guys our “ribbon-cutting ceremony”, where we blindfolded Mr Big. As this finished, our timetable told us that we needed to get to our civil ceremony at the Hunter Valley Gardens. While Mr Big and I were still at the villa, our guests had started to arrive.

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Mr Big arrived a moment later, positioning himself with his groomsmen at the front of the aisle. We had music playing for our guests during this time – some which people may think are untraditional choices:

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Meanwhile, at the villa, and already approximately 15 minutes late already, I was beginning to panic that we hadn’t left yet. Everyone and their mum assured me it was ok for the bride and groom to be a little bit late to their wedding, but Mr Big had already left and I was stuck waiting. At first, I felt bad inconveniencing our guests and vendors like this, but as it was culturally important, everyone assured me it would be ok.

But time was getting further and further away, and I was still at the villa.

Luckily for me, Papa and Mama Bighorn saw the look of absolute fear and anguish in my eyes that I would be late to my own wedding, and gently ushered me into the car, telling me that they would handle it. I’m not too sure what they did, but after a harrowing five minutes, we were underway, all the while Papa Bighorn cheering me up as he drove.

When we finally got to the ceremony site, things happened quickly.

Waiting at the gate was a golf cart, the driver ready to take me up quickly to the Waterfall Outlook with my parents. After a short ride (thank God for that golf cart), I saw my bridesmaids who were looking relieved that I had finally arrived.

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Yes guys, that is a Ferris Wheel behind them. No, we didn’t get to ride it. BOO!

After a short apology, the wedding coordinator gave me a brief nod and I heard the music start. Now, you guys may or may not remember, but my tastes in music aren’t really conventional. We decided pretty early on that our music would suit our tastes, and so I present to you, our processional song.

Because the song was rather long, and my bridal party wasn’t too big, we decided it would be played for all the bridesmaids and myself. So first off, my girls came down the aisle:

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What you can’t see through the photos was that they were holding parasols all the way down the aisle up until the stairs. As they went down the stairs, they closed the parasols (like MoH M&Ms is doing) and then placed them at their sides as they formed up.

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The girls were amazing throughout the day! But enough with my ranting, let’s get back on track.

After my girls were lined up (as above), I came down the aisle with both of my parents. I knew, from the beginning, that this is what I wanted to do. Both of them play a huge part in my life and I wanted to honour them both.

As we prepared to walk down the aisle, I was nervous! My stomach was in twisted knots and I was terrified I would trip, stumble, or worst – cry! But as I linked arms with both of my parents, our coordinator signalled us to walk down the aisle, and we turned the corner, I saw Mr Big waiting there for me.

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And I know this sounds cliché, but my nervousness disappeared, replaced with a calm excitement.

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Mr Big was looking something like this:

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Folks, this picture and the one of both my parents and I walking down the aisle are two of my very favourites.

As we reached the front and I finally caught a glimpse of Mr Big’s face, I felt my heart explode with happiness. I couldn’t help the smile.

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Meanwhile, Mama Bighorn was finding it hard to hold it together.

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After I gave both of my parents a strong hug, and Mama Bighorn a quick kiss, they took their seats, leaving me standing at the front of the aisle. With Mr Big in front of me, tears in his eyes, I felt a giddy surge of energy run through me.

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We were getting married guys! Up next – the ceremony!

[All photos by Studio Something.]

 

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Takin’ Love by the Horns: Pulling the Wool Over His Eyes

30 Jun

Last I left you guys: I was in my dress, feeling fabulous; the girls were all dressed up; and my groom and his men were dressed to the nines. As I was inside, being fed jam on toast by BM Proper, Mr Big was outside with MC Chupacabra, and this was happening:

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Yep, Mr Big was getting blindfolded.

For those who’ve just joined us, and have no idea what is happening, I point you to this post.

In summary: for our wedding, Mr Big and I needed to perform a Chinese tradition where he needed to “pick me up” from my parents’ house at a set-time (11AM). This set time is considered “auspicious”. However, in order to be let out, my older sister (MoH M&MS) has to cut a ribbon from over the threshold of the house (i.e. the doorway). This is very similar to the “Giving Away” tradition in Western weddings, but in reverse. Also, as I am marrying before my older sister, she needs to “give me permission”, so to speak. I then gift MoH M&Ms and Mr Big guides me out. TADAH, that’s the tradition.

Unfortunately, there were a few issues with this, as recounted in the above-linked post. In short, we decided the best solution was to blindfold Mr Big.

Doesn’t he look cute with his blindfold?

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At that point, inside the house, I was getting grilled given a very brief, very last-minute explanation on what was going to happen (even though I had requested said information for months beforehand). To this I can only give a long sigh and implore, implore, you guys to get as much information as early as possible. I was literally told on the day by Mama Bighorn’s side of the family (my aunties and uncles, who I love, but they really should have given us information beforehand):

  • Mr Big had to have my bouquet.
  • My parents could not be present at all during the whole thing (they were hiding upstairs, it was kinda hilarious).
  • I had to lead Mr Big to the door (no one told me this, so there was a brief awkward silence before I had an EFF IT moment and dragged him to the front of the house).

I was exasperated guys. Exasperated.

Anyway! My family disappeared and MC Chupacabra led Mr Big carefully into my parents’ temporary “home”, the villa at the Crowne Plaza, where I was waiting. He was holding my beautiful bouquet:

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Who here sees the Bees?

As he made it up to me, I stood, took his hand so that he knew where I was (remember guys, he can’t see) and I felt my heart beating wildly against my chest.

I had seen him in the suit a million times, but this time it was very real. We were going to be married in a few moments time, and he was looking extremely handsome. I vividly remember clutching his hand and just shakily saying hi to him. He was as calm as a cucumber (which is ironic, since he hates cucumbers).

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See what I mean? He looks calm, I look nervous! Also notice the gift, that’s for MoH M&Ms.

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We chatted for a little bit afterwards, and then after some awkward ‘WTF do we do now’, I grabbed his hand, gave it a tremendous squeeze, and lead him outside. At the door, Groom’s Homie Oddball and my cousin were waiting, a ribbon splayed over the door.

It was then that I gifted MoH M&Ms and she cut the ribbon.

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And with that, we were free!

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Except, of course, for one more thing. As you all may know from my posts, Chinese culture requires that the child respect the parent in a fashion that some may think is a little bit formal. But as were the requirements of my culture, Mr Big and I respected our elders, particularly my parents, by doing this:

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Yes folks, we bowed. And then Mr Big celebrated.

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It was at that time, though, that we needed to get going. It was ceremony time! Unfortunately, things did not go to plan on my end…

[All photos by the fabulous Studio Something.]

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Takin’ Love by the Horns: Puttin’ on the Dress

27 Jun

The girls were ready, the guys were ready, so what now?

Well, hive, this:

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Ladies and gents, meet “Radiant”.

Was going onto this:

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I look strangely unimpressed.

At this point all the girls had seen my dress in the making, but this was the first time they’d see it in all of its glorious glory. Because my photographers and videographers didn’t want me stripping down to my underwear in the living room they asked me to don my underwear in another room, pull the dress on over my underwear, and then walk out. They would then film and photograph me getting all laced up.

I loved this plan, so off I went, with my girls and Radiant in tow, to the bedroom I had been staying at that night. During this time, I forgot where I had put my Spanx and as the girls went looking, I carefully untied my kimono. It was at that point that something hilarious happened.

Now, back story. I share what one would call a special relationship with BM Cupcakes. We’ve known each other since Primary School, and up until recently, she was convinced I was out to “get” her purely because I remember silly little things that happened to her in Primary School. I assured her this wasn’t the case, but that BM Cupcakes is simply “memorable”. She and I are also the more ‘bustier’ girls of the group.

So as I removed my kimono, revealing my bra, BM Cupcakes leapt at my boobs and cupped them.

Yes guys. She leapt at my boobs.

After a brief pause, to which she stood back and gave me my Spanx, the only thing I could think was: “Why’d you do that for?”

Her reply: “It was the only chance I’d ever have of doing that.”

I love you BM Cupcakes.

After the boob-grabbing incident, I then proceeded to pull the dress over me and step back out into the living room, the train gently trailing behind me. Even though I wasn’t done up yet, I felt fabulous. As I positioned myself for optimum photo-taking, my girls did me up.

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BM Superhero, having learnt from Mandy how to do up my dress, assisted Mama Bighorn in lacing up my dress.

Unfortunately, I don’t have a lot of pictures of me getting into the dress (but heaps on video). So I’ll leave you with a picture of me in the dress!

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I’d put more up, but I’d be spoiling you guys! (And trust me, there will be LOTS more to come.)

Up next, Mr Big is blindfolded and cuts a red ribbon.

[All photos by Studio Something.]

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And we’re baaaa~aaack!

25 Jun

Hi hive!

It’s been a while and I’ve missed you greatly. After a whirlwind two months off, I return with tales to tell, but most of all, recaps to recapitulate!

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Late night dinner on the balcony of our room while cruisin’. Guys, I totalled rocked that gown. / Personal image.

To those who don’t know who I am, hi, I’m Mrs Bighorn Sheep, an Australian who got married to a Kiwi (a person from New Zealand). My darling husband, Mr Big, and I got married at the Hunter Valley, a region two hours north of Sydney, New South Wales. We had our ceremony in a beautiful garden followed by a reception at a winery.

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Tamburlaine Winery from the lagoon. / Image taken from Polka Dot Bride, photography by Cavanagh Photography.

My husband (then fiancé) proposed to me in New Zealand at one of our favourite spots, Milford Sound, underneath a waterfall. During the planning of our wedding, I realised there wasn’t theme. Instead, we incorporated geeky elements with Chinese traditions, including a Chinese Tea Ceremony. I even managed to mix the Asian-flair with geek-chic by DIY’ing Kaylee’s parasol from the sci-fi TV show Firefly! Because of these Chinese traditions we couldn’t have a First Look, but instead would be doing an “Anti-First Look”. We also managed to incorporate bubbles,, things from Ikea, and even high-fives!

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Mr Big + Ikea = Serious Shopping! / Personal image.

My dress and veil were custom-made by an Australian designer, my bridesmaids’ dresses and the groomsmen shirts were ordered online, and the groom and groomsmen bought their suits locally. I wanted to ensure Mr Big kept his beard and glasses for the wedding, I had some trouble with my hair, and I complained about my stupid skin.

Our photographers were the bomb, our videographers were the shiz, and we generally loved our vendors. Some of our vendors were friendors! Our engagement photo shoot was done in Christchurch, New Zealand, where Mr Big was born and raised.

Our engagement stop-motion video! / Stopmotion and photographs by Studio Something.

When we got married, Mr Big cried and it was an amazing (but hot and sometimes stressful) day. I shared with you our Same Day Edit from our wonderful videographers, and some pre-wedding things including: delegating tasks and our wonderful friends who helped us out on the day; stuffing all that we possibly could into cars; the crapton of crap we had to do before the day; the rehearsal and the welcome dinner (also known as the meat after-party); and finally, spending some time with my girls.

Finally, the girls got pretty and the guys got ready!

And we’re caught up! Next, the former-Miss Big puts on her bridal finery! Let’s get this party (re-)started guys!

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TL;DR? Catch up here!