Archive | October, 2013

L-O-G-I-S-T-I-C-S spells, “my greatest nightmare”.

30 Oct

I hate logistics.

Even that word makes me cringe!

I’m not a planning maven, I leave that up to BM Superhero (who’s fantastic at it), but because this whole thing is Mr Big’s and my wedding, it seems I need to start getting a handle on this whole-timeline-thing. I’m also quite neurotic and impatient (a bad combination!), so when I want something done I try to get it done now, now, now and get twitchy when I can’t. Lately, I’ve been getting better at letting it go, especially as Mr Big has put his hand up to get most of the logistics sorted (he’s awesome like that). He’s made a Microsoft Project sheet (I kid you not!) of the timeline(-so-far) and is intending on printing out separate sheets for each significant member of our wedding, including him and myself.

I’ve tried getting a few key factors into the timeline myself (for example, my MUA and hair-stylist stated they’d be over at 6AM) but mostly? I stare blankly at the computer screen and wonder how the heck we’re going to fit everything!

You guys may remember that we have a lot going on at the wedding and even being a little bit late (especially at the reception) may ’cause an unwanted domino effect. I’m terrified we’ll not have enough time to do anything, but my parents and Mr Big keep reassuring me that it’ll “all be ok”.

The wedding is drawing so close so Mr Bighorn and I will have to start getting this logistical stuff sorted! EEP.

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A ‘Vision’ of Things to Come

29 Oct

Alternative Title: Why the Bighorns don’t have a wedding theme.

During our wedding planning journey, Mr Big and I get asked the question, ‘what’s your theme?’. Often it’s met with blank stares and a long, ‘uhhhh’ from the both of us. This is because Mr Bighorn and I don’t really have a theme, but more a ‘vision’ (ha, I feel like a ponce saying that). We have stylistic elements that will hopefully make the feel of the wedding more seamless, but we don’t have a deadest theme.

Let me explain.

On the outset of our engagement, we Bighorns wanted to incorporate the traditions from my culture (for example, the Chinese tea ceremony), from his culture (for example, the white wedding dress) and our love of all things geek. Our ideas varied considerably, from the colours red and gold being our wedding colours, a photo booth with geeky photo booth props, badges as wedding favours with names of each guests and witty remarks on who they are (or who we know them as), and there was even talk of a zombie-themed cake topper with us equipped with weapons and fighting back zombies!

We also wanted to incorporate more than one of our fandoms. For instance, I’m not just a gamer geek; I also love board games, anime, sci-fi and supernatural TV shows and movies, and I’m also a total Dis-nerd (a Disney nerd). Mr Bighorn is a total gamer geek, loves tech (he keeps up-to-date on Microsoft especially), has a huge collection of TV shows and movies in all genres (sci-fi, fantasy, supernatural, you name it!), loves board games, and is also something of a Dis-nerd. Our love for all things geeky, nerdy and dorky is only as big as our love for music and each other.

I also wanted very much to have an underlying Beauty and the Beast feel (that is both his and my favourite Disney Princess film. I know, how the eff did I get this guy!?), while also adding in geeky elements and giving a nice, solid nod towards the cultural and traditional.

With all that said and done, the only logical theme would be something called “geek chic”. The term ‘geek chic’ is a combination of all things chic and all things geek. It means elegant and delicious wedding cupcakes with zombie-fighting cake toppers; gorgeous floral arrangements in conical flasks; cute heart-shaped USBs as wedding favours; and an ASCII heart instead of the usual “Mr & Mrs” at the head table (although that’s cute too!). It sounded like the perfect theme for the wedding day, but as we began to plan more, our theme changed way too many times to count, even despite the fact that we tried to stay on track.

It was then that we decided that the word ‘theme’ cemented our ideas too firmly to one thing. For all intents and purposes, our wedding will still be geeky and chic. However, with the hodgepodge of other things that has been thrown into the mix, either by myself, Mr Big, or family and friends who have contributed, it was much easier on us to keep a set ‘vision’ in mind instead of stubbornly sticking to a theme.

We’ll still have a crapton of geeky elements (ASCII heart, cake topper) but there were some that we had to take out. We’ve expanded our wedding colours, but made sure to keep the palette constricted so as not to overdo it! And we’re still very much trying to stick to our vision without restricting ourselves to a specific theme.

I’m hoping that it all works out ok, but Mr Big seems to be more on top of it than I am. Sometimes I wonder why he isn’t the one doing most of the planning!

What do you guys think? Are we crazy for not sticking to a ‘theme’?

Bloggy, bloggy, bloggy

27 Oct

Hi guys!

A few weeks ago I signed up to a wedding blog, Weddingbee. It’s a good community of people, and the bloggers are all named after specific monikers (for example, there’s Mrs Funnel Cake, Mrs Panda, Miss Filly, Miss Bicycle) and they all talk about their ideas, inspirations, trials, and tribulations of their wedding planning. Some of the information is insightful, some inspiring, and some just plain fun to read.

Would-be bloggers sign up for Weddingbee at least 8 months before their wedding, so readers are taken through the wedding planning process as the blogger plans. Now I’ve been blogging my wedding for some time and after coming across Weddingbee, I decided to give it a crack in June! …I didn’t get in. Another month later, I gave it another crack. Once again, denied! Third time lucky maybe? Nope, de…wait-for-it…nied!

So, should I go for a fourth time around? I know it’s not hugely important to some, but writing is my passion (I’m writing a thesis, I write fiction) and I really wanted to contribute with my own wedding planning process.

I waited for a little bit and mulled over the decision. I looked at how I wrote my posts, the voice I was trying to get through, and decided, after some much-needed advice and my own ‘change-of-process’, that I needed to change how I wrote. I made my posts more insightful, less blabby (I have a tendency to go on a tangent), and  filled with more personality.

And then I went for it.

Well guys, I got in! I’ve written up an introduction post, which I can link back later, but I’m uber excited to be contributing to this great community. I believe most of the posts that’ll be up on Weddingbee will be my older posts (as, you know, I’ve been blogging for awhile now), but it’s super exciting to be sharing this wedding-thang with others.

My moniker will be Miss Bighorn Sheep. For those of you who know us as a couple, it’s pretty self-explanatory as to why I chose it. For others who don’t really know us, GP is a Kiwi. 😉 I’ll be referring to myself as either Miss Bighorn or Miss Big, but we’ll see what happens when I keep blogging.

I’m super excited! Wish me luck guys!

Rock On!

23 Oct

I’ve mentioned before that GP and I have a preference for rock-oriented songs.

Our wedding will be filled with songs which aren’t what people would call “standard” wedding songs. In fact, some people may not know some of the songs played at our reception! Hopefully it’ll run smoothly though. I won’t get into specifics – I sort of want to keep some air of mystery! – but the songs we’ve chosen for important parts of the wedding (sans a few) will be rock-based.

Our ceremony will have a number of alternative and folk rock songs strewn throughout. Since the last post, GP managed to cull about 40 songs from the massive list I gave him (I’m a bad decision-maker, what can I say!). We shifted some songs around to the reception, since we really liked some songs, and some we culled completely (for example, “Teardrop” by Massive Attack – I love that song, but it’s actually sad… and I didn’t realise that until now, doh!). Our pre-ceremony music will go for longer than 30 minutes, about 45, but that’s purely because we’re worried we’ll be late.

Most, if not all, of the songs during our ceremony will have some basis in rock and range from indie to mainstream and alternative to folk. There’ll be a few that only a select number of people will know (The Script’s “I’m Yours”) and others that are pretty darn popular (Coldplay’s “Clocks”), but all of them were chosen because they fit the criteria of, a) easy listening, even for guests who don’t listen to our genre of music, b) not depressing, like 99% of the songs I listen to, and c) fitting for a wedding!

This goes double for the reception.

I mentioned before that we’ll be having a few key things happening at the reception, most of them revolving around music, so it was important that GP and I get it right. We know not everyone will enjoy our type of music, but we hope our song choices will be enjoyed by a majority of our guests. And we’re hoping, for those who don’t really like our genre of music, they’ll enjoy it simply because it softens/lightens/hypes up the mood at the wedding. 🙂

Excitingly, we got the song list from FBIL Muso and it looks good! They’re mostly what I call “slow sway” rock songs, and will definitely suit as dinner music to entertain others while they eat and mingle. I’m not sure about half of the bands (before my time, unfortunately) but I’ve recently put most of them on to a Spotify playlist and am playing through it now. The running time is just under 3 hours, but let’s include the changeovers and getting-ready between songs, and they’ll probably be playing for about 3 hours. We’ll need to see how it can fit into the timeline, but it should be ok! 🙂

GP has also chosen the three songs he wants to perform, but still needs to run this by my papa. De Papa (GP’s dad) and FBIL Muso have an idea. I’m super excited about this one, but nervous for GP at the same time. We’ll see how this one goes. 🙂

As for the dance-portion of the wedding, GP and I have carefully chosen songs which span the ages and suit what we like. We’ve had to negotiate on some songs, but overall, we’re happy with our choices. Our last song of the night will be particularly, we hope, crowd-stomping worthy. Now we need to get all the songs and give them to our DJ. Eeesh, it’s getting closer to the wedding every day that goes by and I’m actually starting to freak out about the amount of stuff we have to do!

Hopefully our guests like/accept our music. It’s the one thing GP and I have both been incredibly thoughtful about. In fact, when we listed what we truly wanted out of our wedding, ‘good music’ was one of the priorities.

What do you guys think? Are we being too narrow-minded? Do you think we should add some songs we don’t really like?

 

Less than Three

22 Oct

Mr Big and I are sticklers for the English language.

And in saying that, when we text each other, we don’t normally use “short-speak”. For example, we don’t use “C U L8R”, we use “see you later”. As we met each other online, it meant a lot to me that he was using “you” instead of “u” and “this” instead of “dis”.

However, as we became more intimate, we began using the ASCII heart, which others may know as “less than three”, or simply:

ASCII Heart Necklace

Less than Three!! Also, that necklace is awesome. / Image via Etsy shop, bekathwia.

Our texts normally have them in some form or another (and yeah – we do take some liberties with some words…):

asciii-heart

A typical conversation between Mr Big (GP) and I via text message. For context, we were in Melbourne, staying in serviced apartments. / Personal image.

Basically, the “less than three” symbol is our symbol of affection, and therefore, we wanted it to be in the wedding. I mentioned previously wanting to get  the symbol to put at the head/bridal table, similar to this:

Groomsmen wearing suspenders.  I like that look!

The “Mr – Mrs” head table decoration // Image via One Wed, photography by Tim Tab Studios.

However, instead of the typical “MR / MRS”, “MR & MRS”, or “G & E”, we wanted this:

Metal Art Geek Heart Emoticon Wedding Decor - Free USA Shipping

“Less than three” stand – perfect for the bridal table / Image via Etsy shop Knob Creek Metal Arts.

But at $35 retail, with a shipping of $31 on top, we weren’t willing to spend that much. Mr Big decided he could make it out of wood from Bunnings, but after some sawing and cutting, we realised we didn’t have the tools to smooth it out and make it look presentable. Add to that my lack in woodworking skills and Mr Big’s busy schedule, that idea went kaput.

I decided to ask my dad if he could do it, but he took one look at the design and reeled backwards with a look of, “Are you kidding me?”. Fair enough – it’s definitely not an easy thing to construct!

Enter Mr Big’s best friend, Best Man DirtyHarry.

He owns and runs a manufacturing business. I don’t know ALL of the details, but to my knowledge, he has a machine that can cut ornate shapes designed firsthand in a computer. Well, after some asking around, BM DirtyHarry offered to make it for us! A few weeks (months? I can’t remember… I’m terrible) we received an email from him with a design of what the heart will look like.

Heart Front

The design sent to us by Best Man DirtyHarry / Personal image.

We made some adjustments (sizing, colour) and sent them back. According to Mr Big, they’ve been made! 🙂

We’re uber excited to have this at the wedding. It’s not a HUGE deal to others, but I felt this symbol (<3) was significant enough to the both of us that it needed some inclusion into the wedding. BMan DirtyHarry has even said that he’d like to keep it for himself, hahaha!

We’ll be placing two Disney characters on either side of the ASCII heart! More on those two later 🙂

What do you guys think? 🙂 Cute, corny, both?

Jam-Packed!

19 Oct

When I asked Mr Big what he was most looking forward to during our wedding, he replied, “Oh that’s easy – the reception.” Though I’m looking forward to the ceremony because, “Oh my God, we’ll officially be married!”, I can totally agree with him on the reception. The best way to describe the reception we intend on having is “jam-packed”.

So packed, in fact, that we’re having a hard time figuring out how to plan the whole thing! (Although our day-of timeline is looking better and better).

You see, there are a few key things that Mr Big and I wanted, as well as a few things that my parents were fervent on. This has caused something of a fustercluck and so it was really hard for Mr Big and I to pinpoint where things will be going (more me, than him – he’s a lot better at this whole timeline thing).

fustercluck

I want this shirt. / Image from Shirtoid.

Among the speeches (we’ll be having six of them), the first dances (two of these), and the obligatory cake-cutting, we’ll also be having other things at the reception:

A Photobooth

Ah, the photobooth. Upon starting the planning of this wedding, Mr Big and I were adamant on a photobooth.

It’s the perfect homage of geeky and fun, and we can also add our own “flair” to it by using props. We know not ALL of our guests will want to dance, so this gives them something to do which we hope people will love.

The props we intend on making are an Xbox sign (which is proving difficult, but I think I’ve just about nailed it), Marvel/Avengers and DC Comics props (read: Hulk masks, Iron Man props, Spiderman props, Batman masks, etc.), and a whole plethora of other thing which may just find its way to the dance floor. Our photographers, who will be providing us the awesome booth, will be providing a backdrop and props of their own (including funny animal masks, hats, glasses and scarves).

Some initial reactions to the photobooth were, “Why?”, “Everyone does that!”, “Oh, what’s that?”, but a lot of people who have attended weddings with photobooths between then and now are like, “I CAN’T WAIT FOR YOUR PHOTOBOOTH!”.

It’s kind of hilarious.

A Live Band

Papa Bighorn was adamant on a live band, and after some deliberation, failed negotiations, and a lucky break, we finally found one. FBIL Muso, Mr Big’s brother, came to the rescue, opting his bands’ services to the wedding. They’re a Kiwi (New Zealand) band based in Nelson, but are flying up for the wedding to play.

They have about the same tastes in music as we do, so we’re uber excited to have them at our wedding. After some negotiating with FBIL Muso and playing around with the timing on the day-of runsheet, we’ve nailed down when they’re playing. We also have a song list outlining the songs which they may be playing. All the songs are totally within out style of music, so we’re quite happy!

A Few Good Musical Numbers

When it came time for my wedding, Papa Bighorn kept dropping hints (read: anchors – my papa isn’t very subtle) about wanting to perform at the wedding chirping up with, “I can sing this, your mum can sing that, we can do this”. Unfortunately, our 5-hour reception doesn’t have time for everything he wanted, so I had to put my foot down: three songs, that’s it.

I didn’t want my father behind a drum kit all night, as has happened at several weddings where he’s been asked to play. He okayed this idea and he’ll be doing three songs at the wedding. What makes it even more special: he’ll be doing those three songs with De Papa Big (Mr Big’s dad, who plays the drums), FBIL Muso, and Mr Big himself. De Papa Big, FBIL Muso and Mr Big will be playing their own song together. FBIL Muso’s band mates will be playing additional instruments to form-up the band.

So, those are the things we need to consider!

Add to that two dance numbers (at approximately 2-3 minutes each), the cake-cutting (which may or may not take longer than 3 minutes), and the speeches (6 of them at approximately 3-10 minutes each), I think we’re going to have a lot going on at the reception!

So what do you guys think? Are we trying to cram too much in our reception? Are we crazy? 🙂

Moving Pictures

16 Oct

Last time I talked about our photographers. Now, I thought I’d talk to you guys about our videographers. I’ve talked a lot about our photographers and how they’re frakking awesome, but I haven’t mentioned our videographers!

You see, when Mr Big and I first started planning this whole wedding shindig, we knew we wanted videographers. We wanted to see moving pictures of our day, hear the vows being said, the whole shebang! The catch? We also wanted a Same-Day Edit (SDE).

For those of you who don’t know what a Same-Day Edit is, it’s basically video clips compiled together to be shown on the ‘same day’ it’s shot. Therefore, our videographers will record most of our day, and then spend the other part of it editing a small film clip together before showcasing it at our reception.

The reason we wanted so much to have the Same-Day Edit is because a lot of people won’t be at our ceremony. Most of my family will be coming up on the day, and have given me the head’s up that they’ll likely only make it for the reception. By showcasing an SDE, we can give the folks who couldn’t make it to the reception a little snippet of the day, including the ceremony.

However, searching for videographers who do SDEs in Australia is NIGH impossible. I emailed out at least 10 videographers, maybe more, and the response was usually a resounding no, although all of them were pretty polite about it. The wedding videography team that we did like were insanely priced, so we decided against it.

Glumly, a few weeks went by where we were deliberating not having an SDE and then I found Onsight Films. Onsight Films is a two-man team – Marlon and Redge – who hail from South-West Sydney (where I come from!). Our first meeting with them was over chocolate brownies and chocolate coffee. We talked packages, gaming, weddings, chocolate, and travel. The two of them were awesome, and  Mr Big and I booked them in the next day!

When we received our package we fine-tooth-combed it (like we always do) and realised that they had given us travel at no extra expense and we were also receiving raw footage. SCORE! Also included in our package is a pre-wedding interview, where Marlon and Redge will go through our “love story” as they say. It’s pretty exciting!

We met up with them in November to film our pre-wedding video, and here’s picture from that day:

WP_20131117_13_09_13_Pro

Mr Big and the camera! / Personal Image.

As for the quality of their work, I’ll let the videos speak for themselves:

So what do you guys think? Anyone else a SDE-r?

Honeymoon in my “Home Town” – The Bighorn Way!

14 Oct

Alternative Title: “Cool things to do in the Hunter”, according to Mr Big.

Technically speaking, the Hunter Valley isn’t really my ‘home town’. Sydney is, and if you want to be really specific, the Greater Sydney Area is my home town. But as I’ve already discussed the resort where our guests will be staying, I thought it might be pretty cool to also give you guys an idea on the awesome things our guests could partake in while they stay in the Hunter Valley.

As the Bighorn wedding is a “mini destination” wedding, a lot (like, 99.9999%) of our guests will be coming from out of town, either driving up from Sydney, flying interstate, or flying from overseas. Only two of our guests are “local”, and they’ve both since moved to Sydney.

I’ll break down the actual guest demographics in my RSVP breakdown (which I still need Mr Big to assist me with – he’s really good at data and Excel), but for now, here’s the Bighorns’ “Honeymoon in my Home Town”!

[Titles copyright the wonderful Mr Big <3]

Cool things to do in the Hunter #1: Meet the locals

http://www.huntervalleyzoo.com.au/

The Hunter Valley Zoo is a great place to get up-close-and-personal to native Australian animals. For those who don’t know, Australia has endemic (read: only within Australia) wildlife, such as the koala, the platypus, and the echidna. At the Hunter Valley Zoo, you can get all cuddly with a koala, pat a baby kangaroo (a joey, if you want to be pedantic) and even touch a crocodile (a baby one – they wouldn’t let you get near one of those big ones!).

GP_me_koala

Gettin’ all cuddly with a koala! / Personal image.

You can also feed kangaroos and emus, and even some non-Australian animals like domesticated animals, ostriches and deer. Side note: the ostriches scare the crap out of me!

Cool things to do in the Hunter #2: Get fat

http://www.hvchocolate.com.au/

The Hunter Valley Chocolate Factory sells just that – chocolate. Ok, well, I lie – they sell mainly chocolate. Their chocolate ranges from Belgium chocolate of the dark, white, or milk variety, to chilli chocolate, to the more Australian “macadamia” chocolate varieties, and more. They sell in bulk, they sell individual pieces, they sell bars, they sell hamper packs – you name it, they sell it. They even have ‘chocolate pasta’, which I haven’t tried yet, but it looks great!

HVChocolate_ChocRocks

Chocolate Rocks – Candy covered chocolate! A “staple” buy from the HV Choco Factory. Yummo! / Image taken from the Hunter Valley Chocolate Factory website.

For those wanting to get gag items, they even have adult-themed-shaped chocolates and sweets! And for those who can’t stand chocolate, they have fudge and condiments which are just as delicious! Their main factory is located in Lovedale, and you can actually see them making the chocolate!

Cool things to do in the Hunter #3: Be Cheesy!

http://www.smellycheese.net.au/

The Smelly Cheese shop is one of those places that you NEED to go to when you go to the Hunter Valley. They have a HUGE selection of cheeses at their disposal and if you want the full experience, they even have a walk-in fridge which stinks like, well, cheese. Mr Big and I often go here to get an assortment of cheeses to eat during picnics we have at the Hunter. For those who can’t stand a bit of fromage, they also have a huge range of gelato (Horny Caramel, yes please!) and even sell condiments, chocolates, and milkshakes, and coffees.

horny caramel

Homemade gelato from the Smelly Cheese Shop, including Mr Big’s favourite Horny Caramel./ Image from Les Deux Blog.

Cool things to do in the Hunter #4: Vodka!

http://www.hunterdistillery.com.au/

I’m not a big vodka fan, neither have I been to the Hunter Distillery, but from the likes of friends who are HUGE fans of the Hunter Valley area in general, this is a place you need to visit. The Hunter Distillery is relatively new and houses a range of spirits, including schnapps, liqueur, gin, and last of all, vodka! The range of flavoured vodka from the Hunter Distillery is impressive, including blueberry, chocolate, coffee, caramel, apple, and even chilli! If you’re a spirits fan, it’s definitely worth considering.

Cool things to do in the Hunter #5: Horse riding

http://www.huntervalleyhorseriding.com.au/

Another thing I haven’t done in the Hunter, but honestly think it would be awesome. The Hunter Valley is surrounded by gorgeous scenery, from sprawling vistas of farmland and greenery, to huge mountains (or ‘hills’ to the Kiwis) which overlook beautifully ripe vines. Driving on the road is pretty enough, but to get up-close-and-personal to the natural beauty via horseback would just be phenomenal. For those wanting a unique experience, horseback riding would be the way to go.

Cool things to do in the Hunter #6: Beer Tastings

http://www.bluetongue.com.au/Brewery-Cafe.aspx

Ah, the Blue Tongue Café!

The Blue Tongue Café is named after the brewery of which it’s attached to, the Blue Tongue Brewery. They sell their own beers at the café, and if you’re a beer lover, it’s a good place to go. I’m not huge into beer, but it’s a fun experience getting the beer tasting paddle and just downing all of the beers followed by a hearty pie. It’s a good option for lunch too, if you’re looking for a relaxing place to sit and chat!

beer paddle_bluetongue

The beer paddle at the Blue Tongue Brewery / Image taken from Hunter Valley Accommodation.

Cool things to do in the Hunter #7: Olive branch

http://www.tintilla.com.au/products/Olives

Tintilla Estate is one-of-many places in the Hunter where you can find awesome olive products, but it is Mr Big’s favourite place to go for olive-related products. They sell wines there, but Mr Big goes there for the olives (he’s an olive fan). From Tintilla you can also grab oils and condiments from the lovely people at Pukara Estate, who have to-die-for garlic oils which go splendidly with pasta. For all of your olive and oily needs, go to Tintilla – you’ll be glad you did!

pukara_garlic olive oil

The “Garlic Extra Virgin Olive Oil” from Pukara Estate – Mr Big and I’s favourite! / Image taken from the Pukara Estate website.

Cool things to do in the Hunter #8: Pretend to be Irish

http://www.harrigansirishpub.com.au/

Harrigan’s Irish Pub is yet another place that does a fantastic lunch. To be biased, this is my favourite place. Their lamb stew is AMAZING and their service is always impeccable, if not busy. For those of you wanting to try this place out, that’s something you gotta be aware of: it. gets. BUSY. The smaller the group, the easier it is to get a table. Otherwise, reserve, reserve, reserve. For those who like a pint of Guinness, this is the place to go. For those of you who like meaty, awesome food, this is also the place to go!

big ass burger_harrigans

The Triple-Beast Burger from Harrigan’s. Do you see that black thing sticking out of the burger? That’s a steak knife. / Personal image.

Cool things to do in the Hunter #9: Balloon it

http://www.winecountry.com.au/things-to-see-do/hot-air-ballooning

For those who aren’t deathly afraid of height (I’m looking at you Mr Big!), hot-air ballooning is a good way to see the Hunter Valley from a different perspective. I’ve never been, but apparently, it’s very beautiful. This is one of the pricier options, so for those on a bit of a budget, may not be conducive. However, for those who aren’t afraid of spending a little bit and who want to experience something that will take your breath away, hot air ballooning is a great option.

Cool things to do in the Hunter #10: A Horse and Cart

http://www.huntervalleycarriages.com.au/

For those who like the idea of a more natural experience, like horse-riding, but don’t want to ride an animal, like horse-riding, than a carriage ride is the way to go. Tours can be booked that take you around the Hunter Valley to taste wines, olives, cheeses, and much more. It’s a relaxing way to see the Hunter without the bothersome traffic that you get with a car.

Cool things to do in the Hunter #11: Preen, Primp, and Pamper

http://www.crowneplazahuntervalley.com.au/spa/

The Hunter Valley has some fabulous day spas which offer services such as massage, facials, manicures, and pedicures. The Tea Tree Spa is located onsite at the Crowne Plaza for our guests, so for any girls (or boys!) who want to get pampered, it’s the local ‘pamper’ spot!

Cool things to do in the Hunter #12: Cycle it!

www.huntervalleycycling.com.au

For those of you who like a bit of adventure, there’s always the bicycle trails. Bicycles (with helmets and map trails included) can be hired for the day to take you around the Hunter Valley, exploring the wineries in a way that is unique and exciting. For those willing to brave the summer and wanting to get a unique perspective of the region, cycling is definitely an option!

Cool things to do in the Hunter #13: GET TO THE CHOPPER!

www.slatteryhelicopters.com.au

For those of you wanting to see the Hunter Valley from above and who don’t like the idea of an open-air arrangement, helicopters may just be for you. The scenic flights start from $70pp, so aren’t ridiculously expensive. You’ll also feel like a movie star going in and out of these things as people watch you in awe. What’s not to love?

Cool things to do in the Hunter #14: Throw yourself out of a plane!

www.skydivethehuntervalley.com

For the adventurous type, skydiving might just be an option! Yet another unique way to see the Hunter Valley from above, as you’re descending down to the ground!

Cool things to do in the Hunter #15: Go off-road

There are heaps of nice off-road opportunities, so if you have the right sort of car for it, it can be fun. Mr Big has the right car for it, but unfortunately, sometimes, Life likes throwing a nasty at us:

go offroad_not

Poor Zoe! (Mr Big’s car, for those not in the know) / Personal image.

So, those with rental vehicles might want to re-think this activity…

However, if you have a 4WD, I totally recommend trying some off-road activities. There are lots and lots of dirt roads up in the Hunter Valley. 🙂

 

So those are our guests’ options, on top of the typical wine tours and tastings you can have! I’m sure there’re more activities which are out there, but I’ve run out.  What do you guys think? Do you think our guests will remain occupied during their long-ish weekend in the Hunter Valley? 🙂

Bearded and Bespectacled.

12 Oct

Mr Big is handsome. He’s cute, charming, and absolutely a-dork-able (I might be biased). He’s also never without two things: his spectacles and his beard.

When I first met Mr Big, he was beardless and he had what is typically known as “rimless” glasses.

no beard GP

Literally, one of the only two photos I can find where Mr Big is beardless. This was taken three years ago in 2010!

Over the years, his glasses have stayed more or less the same, but in most of our photos together, he has a beard in some form or another:

beard montage

From left to right, top row: During my 23rd birthday, mid-2011; our trip to China, early 2012; our trip to the Hunter Valley, late 2012. Bottom row: Our trip to the Milford Sound, NZ (stunning!), early 2013; celebrating our friends’ Sydney Steampunk reception, mid-2013; and finally, at the Hunter Valley Gardens Zoo, late 2013.

Mr Big’s had glasses for most, if not all, of his life, and he started wearing a beard since he entered the corporate world at a young age, where his age held more weight than his intelligence.So it only made sense that he has a beard and glasses during the wedding.

In the wedding world, beards seems to be picking up. Long gone is the clean-shaven individual, with the “Dawn of the Beard” having well-and-truly risen over the horizon:

This groom's offbeat style includes a rainbow speckled blazer, polka dots, and neon. (images CoCo Boardman for Krista Photography) | Well-Groomed Blog

A bearded groom / Image via Well Groomed, photography by Krista Photography.

Personally, I LOVE the beard on Mr Big.

Mr Big’s beard completes his look, and I’d like our wedding-selves to be a reflection of our real-life-selves, just more polished and presentable. So I’d be completely happy with Mr Big sporting the beard, and it’s safe to say that he WILL be wearing it when we get married. He even wants to get a hot shave to get it looking schmick.

The other part of his look which must be a part of the wedding are Mr Big’s glasses.

Mr Big needs his glasses to see, as his vision isn’t exactly great. However, as Mr Big wears his glasses pretty much all the time apart from sleeping, he’s got transition lenses, which basically means they go dark in the sunlight. It makes it much easier for him to drive and generally go about life as he doesn’t particularly need sunglasses. However, transition lenses make it difficult to see his (very pretty) eyes in photographs and also became a problem during our engagement shoot.

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The transition lenses working – see how they’re dark as compared to my glasses? Also, my expression is just… strange there. / Image & photography by StudioSomething.

In some shots, he was even asked to take them off so that they could fully capture his (adorable ❤ ) face:

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GUH. I love this photo. Also notice the lack-of-glasses on Mr Big. / Image & photography by StudioSomething.

Because of this problem, we’re thinking of grabbing an old pair of glasses and replacing the lens so that he can wear it to the wedding. They’re rimless  Raybans, so they’ll look sleek from the sides. But from the front, it’ll look like he’s not really wearing glasses.

That way, people can focus more on his fabulous face.

About a week or so ago, we got the lenses changed for his glasses, and I think it looks good. Here he is with his rimless, transition-lenses-less glasses:

The thinking man.

Mr Big, the thinking man.

What do you think about bearded men? How about grooms in spectacles?

(All images personal unless otherwise stated.)

One Hundred.

10 Oct

Today marks 100 more days until the wedding.

That means, in 10 more days, we’ll be at the 3-month countdown!

To say I’m excited is an understatement. I’m ECSTATIC! But at the same time, I thought I’d have SO much more done!

GP and I still need to do the wedding favours, collect the little knick-knacks for the photobooth, make a new-and-improved Xbox sign for the photobooth, decide on the type of tea we’ll be serving for the Chinese Tea Ceremony and buy it, cut wine bottles for the wine bottle candleholders, buy LED candles for said candleholders, figure out if we’ll be having any sort of programs for the ceremony/ies, get the music to our DJ, get a song list from our band, make sure our MC has a wedding-day schedule, get everything we need for the wine ceremony, try and figure out how to sort out the entire day logistically, and finally, figure out how we’ll be getting EVERYTHING up to the Hunter Valley from Sydney with the family contingent.

There’s probably WAY more things we need to do before we can finally say, “we’re done”, but that’s the gist of it.

At the same time, GP will be super busy with work until about November and I’ve got a thesis that needs writing.

So, basically, GP and I have a busy 3 months ahead of us! Wish us luck guys!